Four men should collectively pay nearly $35 million to a brother and sister severely beaten after acting as good Samaritans outside a West Hollywood restaurant in 2015, an attorney for the siblings told a jury Monday.
Addressing a Los Angeles Superior Court jury on behalf of his clients during final arguments of trial of a lawsuit brought by Anne Greene and Matthew Greene, lawyer Christopher V. Bulone said none of the defendants told the truth during the trial in which they all acted as their own lawyers.
“Each man lied through his teeth right to your faces,” Bulone said.
The defendants are Maurice Driz, a former co-owner with another brother, Daniel Driz, of three Blaze Pizza franchises; Maurice’s twin brother, Albert; Maurice’s son, Shawn Driz; and William Joelson, a Driz family friend.
The case arose out of a melee that started about 1:30 am 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 own bar menu, making the Nice Guy their last stop, the suit states.
Matthew Greene, now 43, invited his sister, now 39, to join them at the Nice Guy, and she accepted, the suit states.
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 states. The Driz brothers at first began berating a valet, then turned their ire on two photographers, the suit states.
When the Green siblings intervened, Anne Greene’s skull was broken and her brother’s spine was fractured, 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.”
Six years later, both plaintiffs could not help crying while testifying about the incident, said Bulone, who said the damages he is recommending are appropriate under the circumstances.
“There are big numbers, this is big justice,” said Bulone, who added that Anne Greene once worked as a model and actress and now finds it hard to have relationships with men.
Bulone recommended that Anne Greene be awarded $20.4 million and her brother $14.8 million. He also said the defendants should have to pay punitive damages.
A lawyer for Findel, now 48, will give his argument later Monday afternoon, then the four defendants will present their arguments to the jury.