Panish | Shea | Boyle | Ravipudi LLP trial attorneys Adam Shea and Patrick Gunning obtained a $6,298,237 jury verdict in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Central District for a 70 year old woman who suffered severe injuries after being struck by a tour bus making a right turn while she was crossing the street. The Plaintiffs were also represented in the case by Scott J. Corwin of Scott J. Corwin, APLC.
On the morning of August 14, 2015, Plaintiff Soila Enriquez was being driven to a 9:00 a.m. doctors’ appointment at White Memorial Hospital near the intersection of Boyle Avenue and Cesar E. Chavez Avenue by her son Jaime Enriquez. Worried she would be late for her appointment, and stuck behind a tour bus waiting to turn right, Ms. Enriquez exited her son’s car and began to “power walk” up the sidewalk. Ms. Enriquez arrived at the corner with 7 seconds left on a flashing “Do Not Walk” signal, paused to allow several pedestrians to pass onto the sidewalk, then entered the crosswalk in violation of C.V.C. §21456. After entering the crosswalk and taking several steps, Ms. Enriquez was struck by the turning tour bus and fell to the ground, where the right rear tires of the bus ran over her lower legs.
As result of the incident, the elderly pedestrian suffered severe lower leg injuries, including bilateral tibia and fibula fractures as well as de-gloving and scarring, leading to the development of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) and other complications.
Read the complaint here
In deposition prior to trial, the Defendant bus driver testified he had an unobstructed view of the entire crosswalk from end to end before he began his right turn, and performed the turn safely. However, at trial, the Defendant driver and their expert witnesses were forced to admit that his turn was made using several inappropriate techniques. Proper turning and looking techniques would have let the bus driver see Plaintiff in the crosswalk and take action to ensure her safety.
Before the incident, Ms. Enriquez was a vibrant and independent woman despite a medical history of diabetes, cancer, and other significant preexisting conditions that required in-home care provided by her son. As a result of the Defendants’ bus injuring her legs, Ms. Enriquez was forced to undergo several surgeries, and will require additional pain management care, surgeries, and additional in-home care in the future.
At trial, the defense argued that Plaintiff alone caused the incident by illegally and unsafely entering the crosswalk while the turning bus was close enough to be an immediate hazard, that according to multiple witnesses Plaintiff fell in the crosswalk without being struck by the bus, and that Plaintiff had committed perjury multiple times and her testimony should be disregarded. Defendants’ counsel requested a defense verdict and an award of zero to the Plaintiff.
The jury disagreed and found in favor of Ms. Enriquez, awarding a total of $6,298,237 in damages, including $898,237 for past medical expenses, $1,400,000 in future medical expenses, $2,000,000 in past general damages and $2,000,000 in future general damages.