Premises Liability

Auto v. Auto- Dangerous Roadway: $390,000.00

03.27.13

Plaintiff driver, a 39 year old woman, was driving her Toyota Corolla on Interstate 10 in Riverside County. The other two plaintiffs were seat belted passengers, ages 50 and 70 years old. Plaintiff was driving in the #1 lane at 55-60 m.p.h. (the speed limit was 70 m.p.h.) It was raining and the roadway was wet. Plaintiff lost control of her vehicle and it spun out of control, coming to rest upside down on the center median completely outside any lanes of traffic. The parties crawled out of the broken windows of the car and were standing by it. Defendants driver was travelling at 65 m.p.h. when he saw plaintiff’s vehicle. He applied the brakes in an effort to slow down. His vehicle spun out of control, and skidded into the center median, where his vehicle struck plaintiffs. There were no warnings of any kind to indicate that water was collecting in this traffic lane. All witnesses confirmed that plaintiff’s vehicle was completely out of the traffic lanes when it was hit by defendant driver, and that the defendant driver’s vehicle spun out of control from the #1 lane and slid sideways into the plaintiffs and their vehicle in the center median. The plaintiffs contended that the defendant driver was driving too fast for the wet roadway conditions and that the water collecting on the freeway due to a defective road drainage constituted a dangerous roadway of which the state had notice from a prior condition. The defendants contended that the plaintiffs were travelling to fast for the roadway conditions. Plaintiff driver suffered a right tibia/fibula fracture which required an open reduction internal fixation surgery and soft tissue injuries to her neck, shoulder and back. Plaintiff passenger #1 suffered a fractured left pelvis, soft tissue injuries, lacerations, and contusions. Passenger #2 sustained a fracture of the left ankle, a severe ulceration of the left leg, a severe laceration of the left ear, and various soft tissue injuries and contusions.

The results of every case is dependent upon the specific facts of the case and the results will differ if based on different facts.

Dangerous Roadway- Pedestrian v. Auto: $515,000.00

03.27.13

Plaintiff, a 16 year old female student was walking to her grandmother’s home after school, when she was struck by a station wagon driven by an unlicensed driver.  Plaintiff suffered a tibia & fibula fracture, orbit fracture, pelvis fracture, and closed head injury that caused depression and diminished cognitive ability. Plaintiff sued Defendant City for a dangerous condition of public property pursuant to Government Code Sec 835 and the Driver for negligence. Plaintiff contended that the City created a dangerous condition on the road by fencing off a pre-existing dirt path previously used by pedestrians to gain protected access to a bridge. Plaintiff contended that the fencing forced pedestrians to walk on the roadway surface in order to  gain access to the bridge.  Plaintiff also contended that Defendant City failed to warn pedestrians that they would be forced to walk close to the roadway edge. Defendant City denied any dangerous condition existed, pointing to the lack of other accidents on the road. Defendant City contended that proximate cause of Plaintiff’s injuries was the defendant driver, who was engaged in an argument with the occupants of the vehicle next to him when his vehicle struck plaintiff. Defendant City also contended that plaintiff should have walked on the other side of the street where there was a pedestrian sidewalk. Defendant City further contended that at the area of impact the roadway was the width of a standard roadway and sidewalk combined. Defendant City provided expert testimony that if a sidewalk had been in place the Defendant Driver’s vehicle would still have jumped the sidewalk and plaintiff would still have been struck. Plaintiff recovered $500,000.00 from City of Long Beach; $15,000.00 (Policy Limits) from Defendant Driver.

The results of every case is dependent upon the specific facts of the case and the results will differ if based on different facts.

Dangerous Road Condition- Wrongful Death of Pedestrian: $850,000.00

01.21.13

Plaintiff, an 11 year old, was killed while walking across the street at night. Plaintiff argued that the City failed to maintain lighting and failed to provide adequate crossing area for pedestrians. Defendant City argued that the Defendant driver was not paying attention and failed to observe decedent crossing. Settlement with defendant driver for additional policy limits.

The results of every case is dependent upon the specific facts of the case and the results will differ if based on different facts.

Dangerous Road Condition- Single Vehicle Accident, Wrongful Death: $550,000.00

09.30.12

Plaintiff/Decedent was a passenger in a vehicle owned and operated by her friend. In a sudden rain event the water did not properly sheet (flow) from the roadway. The vehicle hydroplaned and struck a light pole resulting in plaintiff’s/ decedent’s death. CHP investigation blamed the driver for excessive speed for the conditions.  Claims were pursued against the driver for negligence and against the State of California for failing to maintain grooves in the roadway and failure to maintain signage relating to conditions during rain.

The results of every case is dependent upon the specific facts of the case and the results will differ if based on different facts.