Multi-vehicle crash on freeway. $752K. Los Angeles County.

Summary

Crash in #1 lane throws vehicle into the HOV lane where it is struck by another vehicle.

The Case

  • Case Name: Christiane Davis v. Gamal, Supershuttle of LA, American Yellow Cab Co., et.al.
  • Court and Case Number: Los Angeles Superior Court / BC618074
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Wednesday, March 07, 2018
  • Date Action was Filed: Tuesday, May 03, 2016
  • Type of Action: Vehicles - Auto vs. Auto, Vehicles - Bus vs. Other, Vehicles – rear-ender
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Michele Flurer
  • Plaintiffs:
    Christiane Davis, 32, procurement analyst.
  • Defendants:
    SuperShuttle Los Angeles Inc., Elsayed Gamal, American Yellow Cab Company, Julian Risnoveanu
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: $752,079.59
  • Award as to each Defendant:

    $752,079.59 against SuperShuttle Los Angeles Inc., Elsayed Gamal, American Yellow Cab Company.

    $0.00 against Julian Risnoveanu.

  • Contributory/Comparative Negligence: None.
  • Economic Damages:

    Past medical bills: $16,158.80

    Past loss of earnings: $7,200

    Past loss of use: $1,521.59

    Future medical bills: $300,000

    Future loss of earnings: $7,200

  • Non-Economic Damages:

    Past: $120,000

    Future: $300,000

  • Trial or Arbitration Time: 4 days.
  • Jury Deliberation Time: 2 hours and 50 minutes.
  • Jury Polls: 12-0

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:

    The Brahman Law Office by Nina P. Brahman, Woodland Hills.

  • Attorney for the Defendant:

    Law Offices of Norman R. Nadel by Robert S. Rubin, Los Angeles. (For SuperShuttle Los Angeles Inc., Elsayed Gamal, American Yellow Cab Company.)

    Richardson Fair & Cohen by Les Eng, Burbank. (For Julian Risnoveanu.)

The Experts

  • Plaintiff’s Medical Expert(s):

    Stepan Kasimian, M.D., orthopedic surgery, Glendale. (Treating physician.)

  • Defendant's Medical Expert(s):

    Stewart Shanfield, M.D., orthopedic surgery, Fullerton.

  • Plaintiff's Technical Expert(s):

    None.

  • Defendant's Technical Expert(s):

    Eric Deyerl, biomechanics, Culver City.

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    Plaintiff was involved in a multi-vehicle freeway accident on July 6, 2014 that occurred in Artesia as plaintiff was driving eastbound on the 91. As she was driving at 65 mph in the #1 lane, a Cadillac in front of her stopped in traffic. She managed to stop, but a Matrix (defendant driver Risnoveanu) rear-ended her, pushing her into the HOV lanes, where she was hit by an Infinity and struck the median divider.

    Surprisingly, the damage to her car was not extensive, but the other cars that had hit her were severely damaged. The Matrix driver claimed that he could have and would have stopped but for being rear-ended by a SuperShuttle van, driven by Gamal, which had rear-ended him first and pushed him into the back of plaintiff's car.

    Right before trial, the Infinity's driver was dismissed as it was clear that its driver had no chance to avoid hitting plaintiff's car, which was thrown in his path in the HOV lane.

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    Plaintiff contended that one or all of the defendants were negligent for causing her damages. Plaintiff had a long history of prior neck and back pain for which she had sought regular treatment at Kaiser, but never to a level requiring injections or surgery as was recommended in this case.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    Defendants, the SuperShuttle parties, contended that defendant Risnoveanu was negligent. Defendant Risnoveanu contended that defendants, the Supershuttle parties, were negligent. Both sets of defendants also disputed the nature and extent of plaintiff's injuries, her need for surgery and claimed that plaintiff's injuries were pre-existing.

Injuries and Other Damages

  • Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:

    Neck and back pain, mylomalacia at C-4. Treated at Kaiser mostly, but plaintiff also underwent chiropractic treatment, MRIs and orthopedic consultations outside Kaiser. Dr Kasimian recommended a cervical fusion and a revision surgery in 15-20 years.

Special Damages

  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Medical: $39,661
  • Special Damages Claimed - Future Medical: $300,000
  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Lost Earnings: $6,844
  • Special Damages Claimed - Future Lost Earnings: $7,500

Demands and Offers

  • Plaintiff §998 Demand: $149,999 on March 1, 2017.
  • Plaintiff Final Demand before Trial: Demand at mediation was $500,000. (October 23, 2017)
  • Defendant §998 Offer: Defendant Risnoveanu served a 998 for $25,000 in January of 2018.
  • Defendant Final Offer before Trial: $50,000 by defendant SuperShuttle.

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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