Culver City bus rear-ends vehicle that stops at a yellow light. $40K. Los Angeles County.

Summary

Plaintiff had rejected the defense CCP 998 offer of $108,000 before trial.

The Case

  • Case Name: Girgis, S. v. City of Culver City, et al.
  • Court and Case Number: Los Angeles Superior Court / BC674090
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Tuesday, June 04, 2019
  • Date Action was Filed: Monday, August 28, 2017
  • Type of Action: Vehicles - Bus vs. Other
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Cary Nishimoto
  • Plaintiffs:
    S. Girgis
  • Defendants:
    City of Culver City
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: $40,000

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:

    Bausch Law Group by Natalie Bausch and Sarah Browne, Santa Monica

  • Attorney for the Defendant:

    McCune & Harber, LLP by Kenton E. Moore and Nazli Alimi, Los Angeles.

The Experts

  • Plaintiff’s Medical Expert(s):

    Stepan Kasimian, M.D., orthopedic surgery, Glendale.

    Pablo Pazmino, M.D., spinal surgery, Los Angeles.

    Rami Hashish, biomechanics, Los Angeles.

  • Defendant's Medical Expert(s):

    Clive Segil, M.D., orthopedic surgery, Los Angeles.

    James Baharvar, M.D., internal medicine, Santa Monica.

  • Plaintiff's Technical Expert(s):

    Rami Hashish, biomechanics.

  • Defendant's Technical Expert(s):

    Michael Callahan, accident reconstruction, Los Angeles.

    Mark Gomez, Ph.D., biomechanics, San Diego.

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    On November 18, 2016 in Culver City, a City of Culver City bus rear-ended plaintiff's vehicle that had stopped at a yellow light at the intersection of Washington Blvd. and Washington Place. 

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    Plaintiff alleged the City's bus driver was negligent in her operation of the bus and that the City was vicariously liable. Plaintiff claimed injuries to her neck and back as a result of the accident. She further claimed her accident-related injuries led to permanent spinal injuries that would require surgery.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    At trial, defendants admitted liability, and the remaining issues were causation and damages.

Injuries and Other Damages

  • Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:

    Plaintiff claimed the accident caused cervical disc compression and herniation that developed cervical myelopathy; as far as her lower back injuries, they were unspecified, but there was some evidence presented regarding an alleged lumbar disc herniation, and lumbar sprain/strain.

     

Demands and Offers

  • Plaintiff Final Demand before Trial: $550,000.
  • Defendant §998 Offer: $108,000.

Additional Notes

During settlement negotiations, plaintiff first demanded $412,000. Defendants offered $50,000. Approximately one month later, at mediation, plaintiff made an opening demand of $560,000. At the close of mediation, defendants offered $70,000 and plaintiff demanded $450,000. Prior to trial, defendants made a Code of Civil Procedure section 998 offer of $108,000. Plaintiff made a counter-demand of $550,000.

At trial, plaintiff asked the jury for an award of damages in the amount of $906,969 for past pain and suffering, future medical costs and future pain and suffering. The jury awarded $40,000.

Disclaimer

This is not an official court document. While the publisher believes the information to be accurate, the publisher does not guarantee it and the reader is advised not to rely upon it without consulting the official court documents or the attorneys of record in this matter who are listed above.

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