Plaintiff was a passenger in his wife's vehicle which was traveling in downtown San Francisco. The vehicle stopped in traffic during the morning rush hour, and plaintiff exited, walked around to the back, and began crossing the street toward the sidewalk in the middle of the block. He was struck by an SUV who was headed in the same direction as plaintiff's vehicle, in an adjacent lane. Neither party saw the other before the collision. Plaintiff sued the SUV driver alleging that he was in an unmarked, implied crosswalk and had the right of way. Defendant claimed plaintiff was solely and completely at fault, and that plaintiff walked between cars and into the side of defendants SUV. Plaintiff suffered a badly broken ankle, and his past medical bills were approx. $96,000, and he was not able to work as much as a corporate attorney for a few months, and claimed lost earning of about $50,000. He also claimed future medical expenses of about $30,000 and past and future pain and suffering for arthritis.
Plaintiff acknowledged partial responsibility, but claimed Defendant was primarily at fault. Before trial, he offered to settle for $100,000.
Defendant, insured by State Farm, offered no money.
The case proceeded to trial, and Plaintiff prevailed. He was awarded all of his past and future medical expenses, all his wage loss, and past pain and suffering of $100,000 and future of $80,000. His total award was $356,807. Defendant was unanimously found negligent, and the jury apportioned fault 55% to Defendant and 45% to plaintiff. Pursuant to California law, plaintiff's damages were reduced by 45%. Since plaintiff's verdict exceeded his pretrial offer to settle via Section 998 of the Code of Civil Procedure, plaintiff was awarded his costs of $50,000 and prejudgment interest.
Nancy Gans v. Alta Building Material Company d/b/a Westside Building Material Company and Roll Rite Corporation, No. RG04171008
Mar 20, 2007
$1,961,000 settlement in mediation
On April 21, 2004, plaintiff Nancy Gans, a 50-year-old operating engineer, was operating a temporary elevator lift at a construction site as workers were loading a stack of sheetrock into the lift. The sheetrock was supplied and delivered by Alta Building Material Corp., Anaheim, which was being transported on a dolly that manufactured by Roll Rite Corp., Hayward. Gans was holding open the door to the lift so that her co-workers could transport the sheetrock when the load fell on her.
Gans sued Roll Rite on a products liability theory, claiming design defect, and Alta Building Material, for negligently packaging the sheetrock. Plaintiffâ€™s counsel alleged that the caster wheel on the dolly had a design defect that caused the sheetrock to slide off of the dolly. The dolly would have been able to support the load had it not been for the defective caster wheel that Roll Rite installed on it. Plaintiffâ€™s counsel contended that the wheel was not designed with enough strength, according to the plaintiffâ€™s metallurgy expert.
Plaintiffâ€™s counsel further alleged that Alta Building Material negligently packed the sheetrock, prior to shipping it to the job site, and it failed to comply with ANSI or CAL OSHA standards.
Defense counsel argued that Gans was liable for the collision because she had placed herself in harms way when she was holding the door open for her co-workers. Counsel further argued that the caster wheel was not defective and that the sheet rock packaging met with the custom and practice of the industry.
Chen Zhang and Shan Zhang v. Anchie Kuo and John Wei, individually and doing business as Ngai Construction
Nov 01, 2007
A $1,125,000 settlement in mediation
On March 15, 2005, plaintiff Chen Zhang, 61, retired, was run over twice while crossing the road. She had just dropped her grandson off at school and was walking in a crosswalk on Sunset Boulevard at Noriega Street, where she had a green light. Kuo, driving an SUV, hit her and ran her over. Wei, who was driving a pick-up truck immediately behind Kuo, also ran over Zhang, dragging her about 100 feet before coming to a stop. She sustained a brain injury.
Claiming negligence, Zhang sued Anchie Kuo and John Wei, individually and operating as Ngaiâ€™s Construction. Kuo claimed he never saw Zhang. He said he did not even realize that anything had happened until he noticed people yelling after the accident. Kuoâ€™s counsel contended that any negligence on the part of Kuo was superseded by that of Wei, since Wei was the one who had dragged Zhang. Wei claimed that he had not seen Zhang either. He further claimed that he never would have hit and dragged her if she had not already been knocked to the ground by Kuo.
Sylvia Aquino v. TommyTo
Sep 01, 2009
$247,020.18 judgement; with costs, interest and court awarded attorneys fees, $414,000 plus.
Plaintiff was walking in crosswalk when defenant To, driving a Hummer, turned behind her snagging plaintiff's backpack. Plaintiff denied injury and medical treatment at the scene. Defendant denied contacting her. The next day, plaintiff had neck pain, and eventually had a neck surgery she and her surgeon related to the incident. Defendant denied hitting her and offered zero.