Head-on collision kills plaintiffs' daughter. $3.5 million. San Bernardino County.

Summary

Defendant driver says she's entitled to sudden emergency defense as her vehicle came into contact with gravel on the highway shoulder.

The Case

  • Case Name: Arsenio D. Madero Jr., as an individual, and as a successor in interest of DJ Mariah Madero, deceased; Eloisa Madero; as an individual, and as a successor in interest of DJ Mariah Madero, deceased v. Mercedes Devoney Broughton, an individual, et al.
  • Court and Case Number: San Bernardino County Superior Court /CIVNS 1200020
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Thursday, February 04, 2016
  • Date Action was Filed: Tuesday, April 24, 2012
  • Type of Action: Vehicles - Auto vs. Auto, Vehicles - Freeway, Wrongful Death
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Donald R. Alvarez
  • Plaintiffs:
    Arsenio D. Madero Jr., as an individual, and as a successor in interest of DJ Mariah Madero, deceased
    Eloisa Madero, as an individual, and as a successory in interest of DJ Mariah Madero, deceased
  • Defendants:
    Mercedes Devoney Broughton, an individual, et al.
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: $3,551,037.84
  • Award as to each Defendant:

    N/A

  • Contributory/Comparative Negligence: N/A
  • Economic Damages:

    On plaintiffs' wrongful death claim, plaintiffs were awarded funeral and burial expenses in the amount of $1,223.65. Eloisa's bodily injury award included $124,034.19 in past medical expenses, $25,780 in future medical expenses.

  • Non-Economic Damages:

    On plaintiffs' wrongful death claim, plaintiffs were awarded past non-economic losses for $500,000, and future non-economic losses for $2,500,000. Eloisa's bodily injury award included $300,000 in future non-economic losses.

  • Punitive Damages:

    N/A

  • Trial or Arbitration Time: 13 days.
  • Jury Polls: 12-0

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:
  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:

    Girardi & Keese by Christopher T. Aumais, Los Angeles.

    Richard Harris Law Corporation by Richard Harris, Riverside.

  • Attorney for the Defendant:

    Klute & Newton by Duane A. Newton, Redlands.

    Colman Macdonald Law Group LLP by Scott L. Macdonald, Irvine.

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    On July 6, 2011, plaintiff Eloisa Madero was driving her vehicle along Highway 62 in the town of Rice in San Bernardino County. Plaintiff's children JC, and DJ Mariah Madero, 16, were passengers in plaintiff's 2004 Kia minivan.

    Defendants Mercedes Broughton and Paul Broughton were in a sedan traveling westbound, then crossed into the eastbound lanes colliding head-on with Madero's vehicle. Mercedes Broughton was the driver and owner of her vehicle, which was insured by GMAC. DJ Mariah Madero suffered fatal injuries and died at the scene. Plaintiffs Arsenio and Eloisa Madero are decedent's parents.

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    Plaintiffs claimed defendant driver was negligent in the operation of her vehicle and her conduct caused Eloisa injuries and the death of her daughter. Plaintiffs filed causes of action for wrongful death and bodily injury.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    Defendant claimed that she was entitled to a sudden emergency defense because her vehicle came into contact with the gravel shoulder on Highway 62, causing her to veer into the Madero vehicle. Defendant also alleged that DJ Mariah Madero’s death was caused by her improper use of her seatbelt.

Injuries and Other Damages

  • Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:

    Eloisa claimed she suffered pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, disfigurement, physical impairment, and emotional distress.

  • Plaintiffs claimed loss of love, companionship, comfort, care, assistance, protection, affection, society, and moral support.

Special Damages

  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Medical: $124,034.19
  • Special Damages Claimed - Future Medical: $25,780

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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