Defendant admits liability in high-speed intersection accident but disputes injuries. $2.5M. Orange County.
Tow truck strikes vehicle after failing to stop at traffic light.
- Case Name: Maria Barraza v. Hadley Tow; Matthew Ginther
- Court and Case Number: Orange County Superior Court / 30-2018-01020990
- Date of Verdict or Judgment: Tuesday, March 10, 2020
- Type of Action: Vehicles - Intersection, Vehicles - Truck vs. Auto
- Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Richard Lee
- Plaintiffs: Maria Barraza
- Defendants: Hadley TowMatthew Ginther
- Type of Result: Jury Verdict
- Gross Verdict or Award: $2,500,000
- Net Verdict or Award: $2,796,988
- Economic Damages:
Past medical: $121,000
Future medical: $125,000
Past lost earnings: $196,000
Future loss of earnings: $1,200,000
- Non-Economic Damages:
- Trial or Arbitration Time: 5 days.
- Attorney for the Plaintiff:
Aitken Aitken Cohn by Atticus Wegman, Santa Ana.
- Attorney for the Defendant:
Michael Maguire & Associates by Anson Bui and Akhila Ganapathy, Costa Mesa.
- Plaintiff’s Medical Expert(s):
Gerald Alexander, M.D., spine surgery, Orange.
John Cook, M.D., hand surgery, Newport Beach.
- Defendant's Medical Expert(s):
Michael Weinstein, M.D., spine surgery, Newport Beach.
Shadi Lahham, M.D., trauma surgery, Orange.
- Plaintiff's Technical Expert(s):
Catherine Graves, economics, Fullerton.
Facts and Background
- Facts and Background:
Plaintiff, a 51-year-old female, was struck in her vehicle at an intersection in Anaheim at a high rate of speed by a tow truck that failed to stop at a red traffic signal. Plaintiff was transported from the scene to the hospital.
- Plaintiff's Contentions:
Plaintiff contended that she suffered a fractured wrist, two fractures to her back and a neck injury that would require a future surgery. Plaintiff’s back did not require treatment and symptoms resolved.
Plaintiff’s wrist required surgery and is expected to require a future fusion surgery. Plaintiff’s cervical MRI had minimal findings of a 2-3 millimeter disc protrusion with mild central canal narrowing.
- Defendant's Contentions:
Defendant admitted liability but contended that plaintiff should have only been out of work for a year and then could resume work full time.
Further, that plaintiff did not need any future neck treatment.
Injuries and Other Damages
- Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Wrist fractures, back fractures, neck protrusion.
Demands and Offers
- Plaintiff §998 Demand: $1,100,000 (after initial demand of $1,000,000 policy limits.)
- Defendant §998 Offer: $620,000