Head-on collision results in MTBI, other injuries. $2.6M. San Bernardino County.

Summary

Plaintiff applies the vehicle-use exception to "coming and going" rule in course-and-scope-of-employment claim. Beats 998.

The Case

  • Case Name: Delia Flores v. ConvergeOne, Inc., et al.
  • Court and Case Number: San Bernardino County Superior Court / CIVDS1620468
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Monday, March 25, 2019
  • Date Action was Filed: Monday, December 05, 2016
  • Type of Action: Course and scope of employment, Vehicles - Auto vs. Auto, Highlighted Verdicts
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Wilfred J. Schneider, Jr.
  • Plaintiffs:
    Delia Flores, 58, medical coder.
  • Defendants:
    ConvergeOne, Inc.
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: $2,600,000
  • Award as to each Defendant:

    Past medical: $718,589

    Future medical: $800,000

    Past lost earnings: $77,000

    Future lost earnings: $554,411

  • Non-Economic Damages:

    Past noneconomic: $450,000

    Future noneconomic: $554,411

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:

    Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP by Tobin M. Lanzetta and Taylor Rayfield, Santa Monica.

  • Attorney for the Defendant:

    Bordin Semmer LLP by Joshua Bordin-Wosk and Justin Spearman, Los Angeles.

The Experts

  • Plaintiff’s Medical Expert(s):
    Carol Hyland, life care planning, Lafayette.
    Daniel Zehler, Psy.D., neuropsychology, Long Beach.
    Amy Magnusson, M.D., physical medicine and rehabilitation, San Diego.
  • Defendant's Medical Expert(s):

    Rhonda Renteria, life care planning, Anaheim.

  • Plaintiff's Technical Expert(s):
    Peter Formuzis, Ph.D., forensic economics, Santa Ana.
  • Defendant's Technical Expert(s):

    David Weiner, economics, Los Angeles.

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    On October 12, 2016 at approximately 5:35pm plaintiff was driving a 2015 Toyota Camry eastbound on Edison Avenue, east of the intersection of Walker Avenue in San Bernardino County. Lewis Rocchetti was driving an Audi westbound on Edison Ave. and decided to pass an 18-wheeler on the two- lane highway. He did not make the pass and collided head-on with plaintiff’s vehicle.

    At the time of the incident Rocchetti was an employee of ConvergeOne, Inc. and driving home from work. Rocchetti worked as an IT engineer. Rocchetti was an exempt employee and given a cell phone and laptop so that ConvergeOne could get in touch with him when he was not in the office. When he was hired he was told that travel would be less than 10% of his job responsibilities. During the 11 months that he worked for ConvergeOne, Inc. he traveled offsite three different times. When he traveled offsite, ConvergeOne, Inc. reimbursed him for mileage.

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    Plaintiff argued that the vehicle use exception to the "coming and going" rule applied as ConvergeOne received a benefit from plaintiff having his car at work and readily available in case he needed to drive to a client site.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    ConvergeOne argued that Rocchetti was not in the course and scope as he only used his vehicle three times in close to 11 months. Twice he volunteered to travel to a client site and the on the third, it was pre-planned. 

Injuries and Other Damages

  • Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:

    Right bimalleolar (outer ankle) fracture, right open talar (inner ankle) fracture and dislocation, fracture to distal fibula, fracture of the inferior wall of right orbit, facial lacerations, partial amputation of ring finger, abdominal bleeding, internal injuries, traumatic brain injury, cognitive impairment, depression and anxiety.

Special Damages

  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Medical: $718,589
  • Special Damages Claimed - Future Medical: $1,189,096
  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Lost Earnings: $82,874
  • Special Damages Claimed - Future Lost Earnings: N/A

Demands and Offers

  • Plaintiff §998 Demand: $1,000,000
  • Plaintiff Final Demand before Trial: $1,000,000
  • Defendant §998 Offer: $250,000

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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