$3.8 Million Settlement for Injured Pedestrian Violently Struck by a Tractor-Trailer
August 27, 2021
Case Name: Gwendolyn Wilson vs. Doe International Transportation Company
Court: United States District Court – Central District of California – Southern Division (Orange County, Federal)
Final Result: $3.8 Million
Result Date: May 2021
- Chris Aitken
- Atticus Wegman
- Ryan Drakulich
On December 14, 2018 our client, Gwendolyn Wilson, left her office and began walking to another building inside the business center when suddenly, a tractor-trailer driven by the defendant truck driver struck the plaintiff from behind. The defendant driver, who worked for an international transportation company, admitted that he was in the course and scope of his employment but denied he was responsible for the incident. The collision captured on another vehicle’s dashcam parked nearby showed only part of the accident sequence. The plaintiff suffered extensive, debilitating physical and emotional injuries.
The plaintiff contended that the incident occurred due to the inattentiveness of the international transportation company driver who was distracted while making an unsafe U-turn movement. The incident, captured by video footage from a witness, showed the truck driver looking to the right during the U-turn movement against the truck driver standard of practice. Extensive investigation and discovery indicated that the international transportation company did not provide adequate training to the truck driver, who admitted he was lost and unfamiliar with the location of the incident. The plaintiff proceeded against the international transportation company on theories of negligent training and vicarious liability.
The incident happened at a privately-owned business center in Buena Park, CA owned, controlled, maintained, and managed by a separate management company defendant. The plaintiff contended that the management company defendant had an affirmative duty to warn and protect invitees against known and unknown unsafe conditions on its premises. That affirmative duty was breached by failing to maintain its premises with improper traffic signage. It also had no marked pedestrian walkways, no traffic control features, or personnel, which created a dangerous condition for guests by failing to ensure the safety of pedestrians in an area with heavy tractor-trailer traffic. After initially filing in State Court, the case was removed to the United States District Court, Central District of California on diversity grounds. This matter was resolved on the eve of trial.