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Vehicular Negligence

In Kim v. Zarour, et. al. (San Mateo Sup Ct. #CIV-527935) Michael Kelly, Richard Schoenberger and Conor Kelly obtained a $5.4 million jury verdict on behalf of the spouse and children of John Kim, a retired restaurant owner who died following a multi-vehicle collision on Interstate 101. The Kims’ car was rear-ended while in the slow lane by a tourist exiting SFO. Their car then travelled across three lanes of traffic where it was T-boned by a SuperShuttle van. Mr. Kim was fatally injured. Mrs. Kim was in the car with her husband and suffered serious injuries. At trial, the tourist conceded fault for the initial collision, but argued that she was not liable for the death because the violence of the second collision caused all of the injuries. The SuperShuttle driver argued that there was no time for him to avoid the collision. Our team established through lay and expert witnesses that both defendants were negligent causes of the accident. Using the “blackbox” data from the SuperShuttle, they showed that the SuperShuttle driver was driving in excess of the posted speed limit and that he failed to respond in a timely manner to slowing traffic conditions. After a three week trial, the jury returned a verdict of $5.4 million in favor of the plaintiffs. The verdict was more than three times the defendants’ final pre-trial settlement offer.