$450,000: Dial-A-Ride Driver Improperly Secures Plaintiff’s Wheelchair Resulting in Fatal Head Injury

RESULT: $450,000 from MV Transportation.

CASE DESCRIPTION: David G, deceased, and his wife Sofia, rode the City of Cerritos Dial-A-Ride van to Mr. G’s dialysis treatments, three times a week.  On the date of incident, while making a left turn from Gridley Road, Mr. G fell onto his right side and struck the right side of his head.  The Dial-A-Ride van driver, an MV Transportation employee, had improperly secured Mr. G’s wheelchair within the van when he picked up Mr. G and his wife just minutes before.  Mr. G immediately complained of pain to his head, and he had a large bump near his right temple.  His wife noticed he was lethargic for the rest of the day, and he perspired, became nauseated, and would not eat.  The next day, the family noticed Mr. G fell into a very deep sleep.  On Friday July 30, Mr. G was taken to the hospital. A hematoma on the side of Mr. G’s head was noted, and x-rays of the body were ordered.  On Saturday, July 31, the G family found Mr. G unconscious on the floor of his bedroom.  He was transported to the emergency room and then transferred to another hospital for a neurological work-up.  A CT scan of the head found a volume of coagulated blood on the right side of Mr. G’s brain.  A craniotomy was performed, and Mr. G never regained consciousness.

PLAINTIFF’S CONTENTIONS AS TO LIABILITY: Plaintiff’s contended that, as a common carrier, MV Public Transportation had the utmost duty to provide for the safety of its passengers.  The driver, they contended, failed to properly secure Mr. G’s wheelchair in the van.  Mr. G’s resulting head injury became a fatal condition.

DEFENDANT’S CONTENTIONS AS TO LIABILITY: Defendant driver and MV Transportation contended the medical group was negligent in Mr. G’s care.  They also contended that decedent, who had advanced renal disease and was dependent on dialysis, had a remaining life expectancy of two years or less based on government statistics.

TYPE OF CASE: Automobile Accident, Wrongful Death

DATE & LOCATION OF INCIDENT: July 28, 2004, Gridley Road, City of Cerritos

PLAINTIFF’S AGE: Deceased: 69


Darren O. Aitken
For Plaintiff B Sofia G., Marie K., Delia C., David G., Jr., Beatriz G., Daniel G., and the Estate of David G.

Edward R. Leonard, Esq.
Joseph S. Sedlacek, Esq.
For Defendant B MV Transportation