Bicyclist runs into driver's door of a moving vehicle. Bicyclist had right of way. Defense admitted liability on eve of trial but disputed extent of injuries; made 998 offer of $750,000.
Gabriel Varela: $1,355,598 future medical cost
$405,801 future lost earnings
Gabriel Varela: $800,000 past pain and suffering
$2,200,000 future pain and suffering
Bernice Varela: $14,000 Loss of Consortium
On February 8, 2010, at approximately 5:00 p.m., Plaintiff Commander Varela was riding his bicycle northbound on Catalina Boulevard near the intersection of Orchard Avenue in San Diego, California. Defendant Moninder Birdi, who was operating a Hertz rental vehicle, was traveling westbound on Orchard Avenue. Varela collided with the driver-side door of the vehicle being operated by Birdi in the northbound traffic lane on Catalina Boulevard.
Commander Varela and his wife, Bernice Varela, filed suit against Birdi, Birdi & Associates Inc., and Hertz Vehicles LLC. Plaintiffs alleged Birdi was negligent in the operation of his vehicle, and that he was in the course and scope of his employment at the time of the accident. Hertz was voluntarily dismissed from the action.
Commander Varela claimed that he had the right-of-way at the subject intersection, since Birdi had a stop-sign on Orchard Avenue while traffic on Catalina Boulevard was uncontrolled at that intersection. Plaintiffs claimed Birdi failed to yield the right-of-way and drove into Mr. Varela's path of travel, causing the collision. The police report for the accident placed fault on Birdi for failing to yield.
Defendant Birdi stipulated one week prior to trial that he acted negligently in connection with the collision, but argued that plaintiff was comparatively at fault for riding his bicycle too fast and not paying attention.
That Mr. Varela made a good recovery from his injuries, and was able to return to work as a Navy Commander. Defendant disputed plaintiff's claimed cognitive impairments. Also, that Mr. Varela should be awarded no damages for future lost earnings and minimal damages for future medical care and his pain and suffering.
Comminuted intertrochanteric fracture of the right femur; comminuted displaced mid-shaft femur fracture; frontal bone fracture; frontal sinus fracture; upper and lower lip lacerations (through-and-through); right knee meniscus tear; left wrist fracture; concussion; mild traumatic brain injury; cognitive deficits; occipital neuralgia; chronic pain; sleep disorder.
Mr. Varela underwent surgery on his hip and femur, having hardware implanted, on February 9 and 18, 2010, partial hardware removal surgery on November 24, 2010, and arthroscopic right knee surgery on May 8, 2012.
Mr. Varela also underwent multiple surgical procedures on his lips to repair the damage and for scar revision. He also claimed cognitive deficits, occipital neuralgia, chronic pain, and sleep disturbances as a result of the collision.