John Doe and Mary Doe v. Roe Company, Inc. Alameda Superior Court - Settled for $10,600,000.00
John Doe, a 42 year old electrician, married with no children, was injured while driving to go sailing on a Saturday morning. The driver of a car traveling in an adjacent lane on the freeway swerved to avoid a box in his lane and struck Mr. Doe's pickup truck, causing it to crash head on into a tree. The defendant driver, Mr. Black, was a consulting engineer employed by Roe Company, and was driving from his home to a job site to observe the progress of the construction for his employer. Mr. Doe sued Mr. Black and his employer, Roe Company, Inc.,claiming that Mr. Black was negligent in the operation of his vehicle and that he was in the course of scope of his employment at the time of the accident. Mary Doe sued for loss of consortium. Defendants claimed that Mr. Black was not negligent because it was hard to see due to shadows on the roadway. Defendants also claimed that Mr. Black was not in course of his employment under the 'going and coming' rule which precludes liability by an employer for the negligence of an employee going to work or coming home from work. Mr. Doe suffered a closed head injury with multiple facial fractures. Mrs. Doe suffered a loss of consortium.
Jane Doe and Billy Doe v. Mr. Black, Red Company, Mr. Green, Ms. Yellow and Ms. Pink Alameda Superior Court - Settled for $1,720,000.00
Jane Doe, a homemaker and widow and Billy Doe, her young son, aged 3, brought suit for the wrongful death of husband and father, William Doe, who was killed while riding his motorcycle on the freeway. Mr. Doe swerved his motorcycle to avoid hitting an extension ladder that had dropped from a pickup truck drive by contractor, Mr. Black. Mr. Doe's motorcyle went down on the pavement and he was then struck by a following motor vehicle. Mr. Green, Ms. Yellow and Mr. Pink collided with each other and/or the ladder but each denied striking Mr. Doe. Mr. Green was in the course and scope of his employment with Red Company. Mr. Doe's widow and child sued for negligent operation of their vehicles. Defendants claimed Mr. Doe was responsible to the accident by following the vehicle in front of him too closely, excessive speed in the rain on wet pavement, and riding his motorcyle with a learner's permit which prohibited him from driving on the freeway at night, and operating his motorcycle with bald tires (the CHP report listed Mr. Doe as the cause of the accident). Defendants Green, Yellow and Pink further relied on accident reconstruction to deny that they had struck Mr. Doe.
Sally Doe v. Daytona Helmets, Inc., et al. Alameda Superior Court - Settled for $2,100,000.00
Plaintiff Sally Doe was a passenger on her boyfriend's motorcycle. The motorcycle "dumped" on the highway and Ms. Doe was thrown and struck her head, receiving a closed head injury. Ms. Doe was wearing a "novelty" helmet consisting of a black plastic shell with a chin strap and foam padding which Ms. Doe's boyfriend had purchased from Big Dawg Custom Cycles, a retail store. The helmets were distributed by a Florida company, Daytona Helmets, Inc. Plaintiff claimed that the boyfriend had been negligent in the operation of the motorcycle. Defendant admitted fault and paid the $100,000.00 policy limits.
Plaintiff claimed against defendant Big Dawg Custom Cycles that the novelty helmet it sold did not comply with DOT requirements for motorcycle helmets and did not provide adequate protection, thereby causing her closed head injury.l Big Dawg contended that the novelty helmet was sold with prominent warnings on hang tags and stickers warning that the helmet was not DOT compliant, should be be worn while motorcycle riding and would not protect the wearer from head injury. Plaintiff's counsel were able to videotape with a hidden camer the owner and manager of Big Dawg selling similar helmets to other customers who requested helmets for motorcycle riding and providing to those customers counterfeit DOT stickers to place on the back of the helmets. Big Dawg settled the claim for its policy limits of $1,000,000.00. Counsel for plaintiff were able to identify Daytona Helmets, Inc., as the distributor of the helmet in question. Counsel for plaintiff amended the complaint to add Daytona Helmets as a defendant but were informed by Daytona Helmets that the helmets it distributed were not intended for use by motorcyclists and that it did not have insurance covering the claim. When counsel for plaintiff threatened to amend the complaint to pierce Daytona's corporate veil and name its shareholders as defendants, counsel for plaintiff were informed that Daytona Helmets did in fact have an insurance policy in the amount of $1,000,000.00, which were tendered after plaintiff successfully defended Daytona Helmet's motion for summary judgment.
Jane Doe and Sally Doe v. City of Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz Superior Court - Settled for $750,000.00
Jane Doe was crossing the street at an intersection during her early morning walk when she was struck by a left-turning pickup truck being driven by a City of Santa Cruz sanitation worker on his way to a nearby donut shop. Plaintiff claimed she was in the crosswalk, that the defendant driver failed to keep a proper lookout and that the City was vicariously liable as his employer. The City claimed that Jane Doe had been jaywalking outside the crosswalk and had been wearing dark clothing. There were no eyewitnesses other than Jane Doe and the driver. Jane Doe fractured her left wrist, knee and ankle requiring surgeries for the placement of hardware with $133,713.00 in past medicals, $25,416.00 for past wage loss and claimed for future medical care. Sally Doe claimed loss of consortium. The City paid $750,000.00 in damages. $600,000.00 to Jane Doe and $150,000.00 to Sally Doe.
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