California IN BRIEF : SAN FRANCISCO : Pacific Bell Not Liable for Shooting
The phone company may be responsible for some glitches here and there, but the utility is innocent in the shooting of Alfonso Martinez, the state Court of Appeal ruled. Martinez charged in an Alameda County Superior Court suit that Pacific Bell was liable for his serious injuries because “the robbers were attracted” to his neighborhood by pay telephones on the sidewalk. The trial court dismissed the claim, as did the appeals court. Martinez, who owns a parking lot in Berkeley, said the pay telephones on a public sidewalk drew troops of undesirables. After suffering two assaults, in 1987 and 1988, Martinez asked Pacific Bell and the East Bay Pay Phone Co. to remove the booths, and said he was ignored.