A judge in Los Angeles Wednesday reinstated a lawsuit brought against Jenni Rivera by a woman who alleges she suffered a broken leg from being pushed by the late singer's bodyguard after a concert at the Morongo Casino Resort & Spa in Cabazon.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Minning granted a motion by attorneys for Mayra Pineda-Garcia to reverse his June 19 decision to dismiss the action. The judge said he did so at that time because the bodyguard, Jesse Contreras, was also sued but had not been served with a copy of the complaint and a summons.
Minning said Wednesday he wanted Contreras served soon. He scheduled a hearing for Feb. 19 for an update on the case.
"Let's get this player in the game," Minning said. "We'll find out what happened in this case."
Pineda-Garcia's lawyer, Jerold Sullivan, said after the hearing that he expects Contreras will be found soon and given a copy of the suit. He also said the action will be amended to name Rivera's estate as the primary defendant in the wake of her death last weekend in a plane crash in Mexico.
Minning's action also reinstates Rivera's cross-complaint against Gabriel Vasquez. The banda singer's lawyer, Anthony Lopez, said Vasquez booked Rivera for the concert and hired the security staff to protect her. The cross- complaint asks that Rivera's estate be be reimbursed in part for any judgment against it.
During the hearing, Minning acknowledged the singer's untimely death at age 43.
"Boy, what a tragic circumstance," the judge said.
Minning also told Lopez that he had read news accounts indicating that an attorney for Rivera was among the six other people who lost their lives in the crash and was pleased to find out Lopez was alive and well.
Pineda-Garcia filed her suit in October 2011 and is seeking damages of more than $16,700. Her complaint alleges she was in a line to meet Rivera after the Oct. 30, 2009, concert when Contreras pushed her, causing her to fall over wires and break one of her legs. Pineda says she paid extra to have her photo taken with Rivera.