This jury trial started on December 2, 2019 in Los Angeles Superior Court (Long Beach) before the Honorable Judge Michelle Flurer in Dept. S10.
This case arises out of a truck vs. pedestrian accident that occurred on January 9, 2017 at the Everport Terminal in San Pedro, CA. Truck drivers pick-up containers from the terminal and transport them to locations throughout Southern California. Below is an overhead photograph of the terminal where the incident occurred.
Plaintiff was a pedestrian truck driver who was taking photographs of another truck when the rear tandem wheels of the defendant’s chassis struck the plaintiff. There was a dispute as to whether the plaintiff walked backward into the chassis, or, whether the defendant was negligent for driving too close to the plaintiff and not checking his mirrors while driving past plaintiff’s location.
The defense argued the defendant driver was not negligent, and that he operated his vehicle at the time of the subject incident in a reasonably safe manner. In particular, he drove around Plaintiff at 5 mph so as to provide a 10-foot buffer of space between his vehicle and Plaintiff. The defense presented a full reconstruction and simulation of the incident, and further argued that plaintiff’s failure to deploy triangles to establish a working perimeter fell below the standard of care, and that plaintiff simply failed to look before he backed into defendant’s truck.
Plaintiff claimed his left thigh was struck by the rear tire, and that his left foot was run over by the rear chassis tires. Plaintiff had three surgeries, which included arthroscopic surgery of the left knee, hip arthroscopy for a torn labrum, and seroma surgery to drain a collection of fluid that continued to build up between the layers of skin along his left thigh. Plaintiff also complained of residual injuries, which included a chronic sensitivity in the area where the seroma surgery was performed. Plaintiff also claimed he required a future knee replacement.
Due to the plaintiff’s injuries, he claimed he could no longer drive a truck because he could not sit for longer than a few hours and he could not drive a truck because he was incapable of depressing the clutch on the manual transmission. Plaintiff’s wife and daughter also testified about how the injuries affected plaintiff’s life and his relationship with his wife and daughter.
Prior to trial, plaintiff served a statutory offer to compromise in the amount of $1 million, which was the limits of the insured’s policy. Defendant served a statutory offer of $100,000. Immediately, before trial began, defendant proposed a high-low of $500,000 / $50,000. Plaintiff did not respond to the proposal.
Plaintiff asked the jury to award approximately $5 million, which plaintiff calculated as follows:
|Past medical expenses:||$375,000|
|Future medical expenses:||$200,000|
|Loss of past earnings:||$375,000|
|Loss of future earnings:||$750,000|
|Past non-economic damages:||$750,000|
|Future non-economic damages:||$2,500,000|
On December 11, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the defense after deliberating for approximately three hours.