Judge Denies Mall's Motion to Put Mall Shooting Suit on Hold

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The operators of the Westfield Century City mall lost a round in court today in a lawsuit brought on behalf of three young children of a man fatally shot outside a restaurant at the shopping center when a judge declined a motion to put the case on hold pending the outcome of the accused killer's criminal case.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Edward B. Moreton had issued a tentative ruling granting the motion brought on behalf of Century City Mall LLC, but reversed himself after hearing arguments. He said his decision was “without prejudice,'' meaning the mall's operator can bring the motion for hearing again later.

Ryan Deshane Givens Jr., 29, of Los Angeles, was killed in the shooting that occurred about 10:30 p.m. Jan. 20, 2020, outside Javier's in the 10200 block of Santa Monica Boulevard. The only remaining cause of action against the mall is negligence. The suit was filed in December 2020.

Mall lawyers argued in their court papers that a stay of the civil action was necessary to protect accused killer Brandon Hinton's Fifth Amendment rights in his criminal case. They also maintained the mall's defense in the civil suit would be hurt by Hinton's likely assertion of his Fifth Amendment privilege, which would prevent them from obtaining information and providing meaningful responses.

The plaintiffs' lawyers countered that  the plaintiffs' have an interest in moving forward quickly so they can seek fair compensation and that their interests would be impaired by the delay.

Also named as defendants are Javier's Century City and the 27-year-old alleged shooter, who was arrested in Baltimore in March 2020 by FBI agents and extradited to Los Angeles.

The shooting occurred after an argument between women that began in the upscale Mexican restaurant, moved outside and “turned fatal once the males became involved,'' according to the lawsuit.

The plaintiffs allege the argument should have prompted mall security or the restaurant staff to call the police at the first sign the situation could become violent, especially because alcohol is served at Javier's.

Hinton armed himself and chased Givens around the outside of the mall and shot him multiple times, the suit alleges. He died at a hospital early the next morning.

Photo: Getty Images

Copyright 2021, City News Service, Inc.

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