Jury awards $40M to Good Samaritans beaten outside WeHo restaurant

Four men Tuesday were collectively ordered to pay nearly $40 million to a brother and sister severely beaten after acting as good Samaritans outside a West Hollywood restaurant in 2015.

A Los Angeles Superior Court jury deliberated for about a day before finding in favor of Anne Greene and Matthew Greene in their lawsuit filed in December 2016 against 66-year-old Maurice Driz, a former co-owner of some Blaze Pizza franchises; Maurice’s twin brother, Alberto; Maurice’s son, 30-year-old Shawn Driz; and 31-year-old William Joelson, a Driz family friend.

The panel awarded a total of $20.1 million to Anne Greene and $17.9 million to her brother.

All the defendants acted as their own attorneys during the trial. When they were represented by attorney Maria Hall, she argued in their court papers that the Greenes were the aggressors. Hall later filed a motion to be relieved as the Driz counsel and her requestwas granted in December 2019.

In his final argument Monday, lawyer Christopher V. Bulone, on behalf of the Greenes, said none of the defendants told the truth during the trial.

“Each man lied through his teeth right to your faces,” Bulone said.

The case arose out of a melee that started about 1:30 a.m. April 17, 2015, outside the Nice Guy restaurant on La Cienega Boulevard, according to the suit.

The evening before, Matthew Greene, a restaurant owner, along with associates Jeremy Findel and Marianne Hagstrom, visited various restaurants for research in tweaking their bar menu, making the Nice Guy their last stop, the suit stated.

Anne Greene, now 39, accepted an invitation by her brother, now 43, to join them at the Nice Guy, the suit stated.

The group was enjoying drinks on an outdoor patio at the Nice Guy when Anne Greene heard a commotion outside the establishment and felt compelled to intervene, the suit stated.

The Driz brothers at first began berating a valet, then turned their ire on two photographers, the suit stated.

When the Greene siblings intervened, the attacks on them began, leaving Anne Greene with a broken skull and her brother with a fractured spine, Bulone said.

“Matthew was a very active guy physically,” Bulone told jurors. “Now he’s a prisoner trapped in a body that will never work in a way that it’s supposed to again.”

Although six years have passed, both plaintiffs cried during their testimony about the incident, Bulone said.

Anne Greene once worked as a model and actress and now finds it hard to have relationships with men, Bulone said.

Copyright 2021, City News Service, Inc.

0 0 votes
Article Rating

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

32 Comments
Newest
Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Sonya
Sonya
2 months ago

$40 million?! Ridiculous. George Floyd’s family only got $27 million! That’s what I call privilege.

Rodney Baer
Rodney Baer
2 months ago
Reply to  Sonya

Sonya….a jury awarded them that amount. That does not mean they will ever see that money. Private individuals who are sued for damages will have to make payments (restitution) for many, many years to come. They will most likely never come even close to receiving that $40 million, Floyd on the other hand (his family) will collect immediately and in full, as his case is very different in that the city of Minneapolis is being held accountable. And please don’t be so quick to turn things into a race issue or an inequality/privilege issue, as that is not always true… Read more »

J G
J G
2 months ago
Reply to  Sonya

Floyd was only “ONE” person, here they are 2 so that is 20M per person, LOWER than Floyd.

So the privilege was for Floyd

Rodney Baer
Rodney Baer
2 months ago

It’s human nature to want to step in and help, but the truth is, you can’t get involved. There’s just too much risk involved. My dad always said, if you see trouble, walk the other way. Because if you get involved you’re going to end up either in jail, in the emergency room, getting sued, or dead. And sadly it’s true. I respect the brother and sister for wanting to help. But in this particular situation they should have looked the other way and minded their own business. And as far as the four lowlifes who started the trouble, it… Read more »

More questions
More questions
2 months ago
Reply to  Rodney Baer

Right, call law enforcement .

The article said nothing about any liability coverage carried by Nice Guy restaurant and why they would not bear some responsibility, after all their valet was apparently in the fray and what about the photographers? Happy for the Greenes and hope they see some rightful compensation.

Zachary
Zachary
2 months ago
Reply to  Rodney Baer

Remember this when you are attacked. Your stance to “look the other way” is absolutely disgusting and cowardice! Whoever brought you up should be ashamed! We, as fellow humans rely on each other in times of tragedy and trouble! To not intervene because it’s basically inconvenient or may be costly to you in the end is simply shameful!

Rodney Baer
Rodney Baer
2 months ago
Reply to  Zachary

I understand what you are saying. I’m really only commenting on this particular case. Nobody was beating up an elderly lady or kidnapping a child….that of course would be a different situation. I’m merely talking about staying away from what could eventually escalate into a dangerous situation. Tell me, if you heard or saw gunfire erupting, would you run toward the commotion or would you turn and run like hell in the opposite direction? How badly do you want to be the hero while lying in the ICU at Cedars?

J G
J G
2 months ago
Reply to  Rodney Baer

So remember that when they are beating you and asking for help or wish someone would help you.

You are a CANCER to society.

Caution
Caution
2 months ago
Reply to  J G

JG, that comment is completely uncalled for. A logical human would accept that rationale. On the other hand you may be that rare uncalibrated individual to which logic does not apply.

Come On Now
Come On Now
2 months ago

The last line of this article is truly ridiculous, poor writing and irresponsible journalism. I imagine that the victim does not want the final point in her story to be that she ‘once worked as a model and actress and now finds it hard to have relationships with men’. sheesh.

Not Authentic
Not Authentic
2 months ago
Reply to  Come On Now

Attorney Christopher Bulone, made that statement in defense of his clients, the Greenes. Trials are more than ugly, never a slam dunk. Try to avoid or at the very least try to settle. Finding justice is not a precise science.

Michael Grace
Michael Grace
2 months ago

Try to collect the money, of course they will contest the decision.

Remember, that there was a lawsuit awarded $6 million dollars of a woman raped in a unisex bathroom in a West Hollywood bar.

So imagine the lawsuits coming on West Hollywood regarding Unisex bathrooms. Rapes, sexual harassment, child molestation, stalking, etc.

All to satisfy the woke neurosis of Sepi Shyne and John Erickson.

Last edited 2 months ago by Michael Grace
Terry Oleson
Terry Oleson
2 months ago
Reply to  Michael Grace

While I concur with your negative assessment of the recently elected, neophyte Council persons of Shyne and Ericson, this particular altercation took place on the sidewalk in front of an elite La Cienega Blvd. restaurant, not in a woke bathroom.

Joshua88
Joshua88
2 months ago

*years*

Mike swim
Mike swim
2 months ago

Sounds like these people are taking advantage of the American dream, suing people and getting rich. Disgusting if you ask me

Terry Oleson
Terry Oleson
2 months ago
Reply to  Mike swim

Mike, Since I actually know one of the defendant’s personally, you should be disgusted by your own ugly misperceptions. The brother almost died after he was brutally beaten by this gang of rich, entitled, Hispanic thugs . He was in the hospital for months, he could not work, he lost his chain of high end establishments as they were just expanding, contracted a serious physical illness that almost ended his life, and still struggled onward to try to fulfill his American Dream. 

Some things never change
Some things never change
2 months ago
Reply to  Terry Oleson

Aren’t you speaking about the plaintiff?

I’m Right
I’m Right
26 days ago

I believe the commenter confused defendant and plaintiff and was talking about the plaintiff.

Sonya
Sonya
2 months ago
Reply to  Mike swim

I’d like to hear the other side of the story as well. Authentic journalism is supposed to be unbiased.

Kat
Kat
2 months ago
Reply to  Sonya

What “other side” could possibly justify a cracked skull and fractured spine???

Not authentic
Not authentic
2 months ago

Where was the Been Everywhere & Done Everything Mayor Horvath when this occurred? Not a peep.

Jeff Aubel
Jeff Aubel
2 months ago
Reply to  Not authentic

It happened in LA

Not authentic.
Not authentic.
2 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Aubel

Thank you, on several sources Nice Guy is listed as West Hollywood. However, if you are correct, there is such a thing as joining with Councilmember of that District Paul Koretz over concerns that have been erupting in the adjacent area. It takes cooperation to keep the general area safe and in line especially since there is potential for problems. Recently numerous issues with Cookies and Weho general nightlife area is more problematic that folks know.

Joshua88
Joshua88
2 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Aubel

Six year ago!

John Daniel Harrington-Tyrell
John Daniel Harrington-Tyrell
2 months ago

Next time call 911 and tape the incident, and you will not need 35 million.

Terry Oleson
Terry Oleson
2 months ago

While it would have been wise to have not engaged in a fight where 5 thugs were mercilessly beating up a parking attendant in early morning hours, a call to 911 and a videotape would not have been rapid enough to prevent loss of life to the man being attacked.

Some things never change
Some things never change
3 months ago

Don’t know if the defendants had any real connection to the Nice Guy Restaurant which characterizes itself as an old style Mafia place. Great, especially the type of place to stay away from unless you are asking for trouble.

However these defendants if only guests at Nice Guy and not connected, apparently are owners of several pizza franchises Blaze Pizza which would likely appeal this award, then declare bankruptcy and possible call Donald Trump to find out the details on avoiding any and all responsibility. Never changes.

Simon
Simon
3 months ago

Trump? That was so last year. You need new material.

Some things never change
Some things never change
3 months ago
Reply to  Simon

Even though you claim it “was so last year”, Charles Ponzi’s illegal practices in the 20’s became known as The Ponzi scheme, so may Trump’s become known as The Trump Scam. I regret mentioning his name but it is what it is.

Terry Oleson
Terry Oleson
2 months ago
Reply to  Simon

Unfortunately, Trump is still very much in the national news, but since this particular story would be of no financial or political benefit to Trump, he could probably care less about the thug defendants or the individuals who were mercilessly attacked.

TomSmart
TomSmart
3 months ago

God awful. If awarded, what are the chances of them actually ever getting that money?

Buddy
Buddy
3 months ago
Reply to  TomSmart

I’m sure they’ll get enough to keep them satisfied or we’ll they will own a few businesses donated by their attacker’s.

Click to Hide Advanced Floating Content

0
0
votes
Article Rating
32
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x