Verdicts and Settlements for Clients Injured by Negligence of Public Entities
Our attorneys obtained a jury verdict in excess of $12 million on behalf of Emily Liou, a 17–year–old girl who was injured as the result of a pedestrian accident in San Mateo County. In the 2006 crash, Ms. Liou was struck by a slow–moving vehicle while walking across a dark marked crosswalk. As a result of this collision, she sustained a catastrophic brain injury that has left her in a permanent vegetative state. Read More
Our attorneys achieved a settlement on behalf of a 29–year–old amateur cyclist whose front tire became wedged within the broken grates of a storm drain cover. The claim was brought against Alameda County. Our client was traveling at roughly 10 mph when he was propelled over the handlebars as his bike came to an abrupt stop. He landed on his head and fractured his neck. The action was brought against the city and county for violating provisions of the California Government Code requiring that public property be kept in a safe condition. Our attorneys were able to find other citizens who had complained about the problem in the past, thereby putting the city on notice. The settlement included both lump sum and future annuity payments to provide for the increase in cost of attendant care throughout our client’s life.
Our team represented a 14–year–old boy riding as a rear-seat passenger in a car involved in a head–on collision in Bakersfield, California. As the car encountered a rural intersection, the driver found the roadway flooded. No warning signs had been erected. Although it had been raining earlier, it was not raining at the time of the collision. The flooded roadway caused the car to hydroplane and rotate, crossing into oncoming traffic and colliding head–on with a car traveling in the opposite direction. Our young client sustained a major head injury, including coma. He also sustained fractures of his left leg and right arm. His medical bills exceeded $500,000. Because of his brain damage, experts forecasted that he would be unable to be self–sufficient in the workplace. His future wage loss was estimated at more than $800,000. Our attorneys achieved a settlement of $4,500,000 against defendants including the local county water district, the county road department and the opposing driver.
Our automobile accident wrongful death attorneys obtained a settlement consisting of both cash and future annuity payments, having a present cash value of more than $3 million, on behalf of the survivors of a 42–year–old man who was fatally injured when his truck struck a guardrail at a rural bridge crossing. On the morning of his death, the decedent’s pickup truck drifted across the center lane of a two-lane road. After correcting back into his own lane, he struck and slid along a metal guardrail, which led to a bridge abutment. As he approached the bridge, there was a gap between the guardrail and the bridge rail. At the gap, the front of the truck struck the abutment, which impaled the vehicle and its driver. Our wrongful death team demonstrated that the guardrail and bridge were not built in accordance with the original plans or specifications. The recovery included the future value of the decedent’s wages, benefits and household services, as well as a sum to compensate his heirs for the loss of his care, comfort and society.
Walkup wrongful death trial lawyers represented the parents of a 14–year–old eighth-grader who drowned in an East Bay public pool when three lifeguards on duty failed to see him submerged in 6 feet of water. The swim center, operated by the local park district, was supposed to have provided competent lifeguards. The drowning occurred during a junior high school year–end picnic. At the time, dozens of eighth-graders were in the pool. In spite of accepted industry standards obligating lifeguards to scan their assigned pool zone every 30 seconds or less, none of the three lifeguards ever saw the youngster despite the fact he was directly in front of them. At deposition, none of the lifeguards was able to explain how the drowning occurred or why they did not see the boy sooner. One of the junior high school students, not a lifeguard, was the first person to notice that our clients' son was underwater. The boy was the oldest of five children. The case was settled for $2,250,000 following an all–day mediation.
Walkup government liability lawyers brought suit against the City of San Francisco and the San Francisco Municipal Railway, ultimately obtaining a $2 million settlement on behalf of a 90–year old woman who was struck by an N–Judah Street Car at the intersection of 9th Avenue and Irving Street in San Francisco. The plaintiff, a Holocaust survivor, was unable to clear the path of the streetcar, which turned left against a red light. The settlement was achieved at private mediation, following the completion of a documentary video detailing the extent of her injuries, as well as the devastating impact the injuries had on her life and family.
We obtained a cash and annuity settlement in the amount of $2 million on behalf of a 16–year–old girl who was struck by a San Francisco Municipal Railway LRV near Stonestown on 19th Avenue, suffering amputation of her left leg below the knee. The child was crossing the street with the green light at the same time a southbound LRV “M–Line” train was passing through the intersection. Our lawyers demonstrated that the timing sequence of the various signal lights governing the direction of the train and the pedestrian walkway gave both parties the green light at the same time, creating a recipe for disaster. The city claimed that the child was partially at fault for failing to see and appreciate the oncoming train. The case was resolved after two sessions of mediation with a retired justice of the 1st District Court of Appeals.
Brain Damage - Bus vs. Pedestrian (Government Liability)
Our MUNI Railway team negotiated a settlement having a present cash value of $1,950,000 on behalf of an 81-year old San Francisco woman struck by a MUNI bus while crossing the street. The plaintiff had previously been diagnosed with mild Alzheimer's disease. The impact of the collision knocked her to the ground, where she sustained a left parietal skull fracture, a subarachnoid hemorrhage and a subdural hematoma. Following emergent care at San Francisco General Hospital, she was transferred to Kaiser, where she received intensive therapy. She was unable to regain a steady gate and suffered two falls during her recovery and convalescence. Six months after the collision, she was discharged to a skilled nursing facility. The City focused on plaintiff's pre-accident diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease and claimed that in light of her ailment a substantial amount of her medical and nursing care would have been required in the absence of the collision. The settlement was structured in a manner to allow plaintiff to maintain her public benefits, and comply with Medicare's statutory set-aside requirements.
Our wrongful death specialists negotiated a settlement in the amount of $1,500,000 against a local police department for the wrongful death of a bank executive who was mistakenly arrested for being drunk in public. In fact, the decedent had fallen and suffered a subdural hematoma. Under the police department’s then–existing policy, “suspected drunks” were placed in holding cells until they sobered up. When the deceased could not be roused after five hours in a district station, medical personnel were summoned, but it was too late to prevent his death from global brain damage. Our attorneys recovered pre-death medical specials of $300,000, plus an amount to compensate the surviving heirs for the decedent’s lost future earnings in his occupation as a bank vice president at a national financial institution.
School Abuse — $250,000 Settlement
Walkup attorneys negotiated a cash and annuity settlement having a total cash value of $250,000 on behalf of a 9–year–old boy who was physically and verbally abused by his teacher at day care over a six–month period. The mistreatment culminated in the teacher’s throwing the child across the room into a wall. Shortly thereafter, the teacher was terminated. The defendants included the day care facility and the teacher. Our attorneys demonstrated that the facility had received numerous complaints from other parents regarding this very same teacher mistreating other children during the same period of time and before our minor client was abused. Our client sustained significant emotional distress as a result of the teacher’s actions.