$55,000,000: Paralyzed 9 Year Old Girl and Her Mother Receive a Precedent Shattering $55 Million Dollar Judgment Against the United States Government After a Five Year Ordeal

CASE DESCRIPTION: June G was driving a private vehicle southbound on Newport Boulevard. Leilani G was a passenger in this vehicle, and she was properly secured in her car seat. The G’s vehicle entered the intersection with Wilson Street on a green light. While in this intersection, the Gutierrez vehicle were struck from the right passenger side by a vehicle driven by Michael L. Mr. L was traveling eastbound on Wilson and entered the intersection against a red light in contravention of California Vehicle Code 21453(a).

Mr. L’s vehicle hit the right side of the G’s vehicle, causing it to lose control. The G’s vehicle left the roadway and struck an utility pole on the passenger side, and then fell onto the driver’s side. Both vehicles were extensively damaged.

At the time of this collision, Mr. L was acting within the course and scope of his employment by the United States and the Department of Defense as a computer specialist.

FINAL RESULT: Leilani Gutierrez:
Past Medical Expenses: $3,840,350.00
Future Medical Expenses: $18,667,553.00
Lost Earnings: $635,467.00
Non Economic Damages: $31,000,000.00
Total Award: $54,143,370.00

June Gutierrez:
Past Medical Expenses: $29,132.00
Out of Pocket Expenses: $49,286.00
Future Medical Expenses: $212,500.00
Non Economic Damages: $750,000.00
Total Award: $1,040,918.00

TYPE OF CASE: Action under Federal Torts Claim for: 1. Personal Injuries and Property Damage Sustained in Automobile Collision; 2. The Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress (Dillon v. Legg)

PLAINTIFF’S INJURIES: Leilani G, now nine years old, a ventilator-dependant quadriplegic, paralyzed from the neck down. Her paralysis is at the C2 level. Since the incident, Leilani G has endured 25 surgeries and medical procedures, and spent approximately 250 days in the hospital. June G developed a severe case of Post-Traumatic Disorder (PTSD) as a result of seeing her daughter injured.

DATE & LOCATION OF INCIDENT: May 12, 2002, Southbound Newport Boulevard at the intersection with Wilson Street, within the city of Costa Mesa, California

PLAINTIFF’S AGE: Leilani G, Date of Birth January 28, 1998. Age Today: 9; Age on date of Accident: 4 June G, Date of Birth: September 24, 1975, Age Today: 31; Age on date of Accident: 26

Wylie A. Aitken, Esq.
Darren O. Aitken, Esq.

Steven D. Landsford, Esq.

For Plaintiffs – Leilani G and June G

Keith M. Staub, Esq.

For Defendants B United States of America