By: City News Servicees
The city of Inglewood is seeking an early release from a lawsuit brought by a San Francisco 49ers fan assaulted in a SoFi Stadium parking lot during the NFC championship game in 2022, leaving the victim in a medically induced coma.
In court papers filed Thursday with Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Lisa R. Jaskol, attorneys for the city-state that the two causes of action pertaining to it in Daniel Luna’s lawsuit — alleging public employee negligence and loss of consortium by Luna’s wife, Irene Sulencka — are both defective and do not state a basis for relief. A hearing on the motion is scheduled for Aug. 30.
The Los Angeles Rams and Luna’s alleged assailant, Bryan Alexis Cifuentes, were among the original defendants named when the case was brought last Sept. 8. Cifuentes has maintained the fight between him and Luna was self-defense.
Luna and Sulencka filed an amended complaint on May 18, adding the city of Inglewood and Los Angeles County as defendants. According to the revised suit, the city “had a duty to ensure that designated areas, such as sobering cells or other drunk tanks, were available for the placement of inebriated detainees.”
The updated suit also maintains that the city, like all the other defendants, is responsible for Sulencka’s loss of consortium with “her lawfully wedded spouse,” including losses of “comfort, society, and companionship.”
But according to the city’s attorneys’ court papers, in both causes of action the plaintiffs’ lawyers “fail to identify any statutory basis for alleged direct liability against the city,” but instead make “boilerplate, conclusory allegations, or conclusions of law, without providing any supporting material facts against the city.”
The plaintiffs’ inability to provide details for a cause of action for public employee negligence renders the loss of consortium allegation “woefully deficient as well,” the city’s attorneys state in their court papers.
The lawsuit stems from a Jan. 30, 2022, altercation that occurred as the Rams and 49ers were playing for a trip to Super Bowl LVI — a game eventually won by the Rams.
Luna, who was wearing a 49ers jersey, was found by a security guard in the parking lot and taken to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, where he was placed in a medically induced coma with injuries to his face and upper body.
Inglewood Mayor James Butts said days later that surveillance video of the altercation showed a group of fans tailgating in Parking Lot L, and Luna appeared to shove Cifuentes from behind.
“The suspect then retaliated by pushing Mr. Luna from behind, and then struck (him) once in the mouth area,” Butts said. “Luna then fell to the ground, where he was later found by security personnel who summoned paramedics.”
Cifuentes was eventually tracked down thanks to the surveillance video, which captured a license plate on a suspect vehicle that eventually led to the suspect.
After his arrest, acquaintances told reporters that Luna was the aggressor in the confrontation and appeared to be intoxicated.
Friends of Luna said he flew to Los Angeles and attended the game alone after other fans who were planning to accompany him canceled. He owns the Oakland Peruvian fusion restaurant Mistura.