$2,100,000: 81 Year-Old Pedestrian Struck By Automobile Leads To Record Settlement

CASE DESCRIPTION: An elderly lady was hit by a car trying to make a right turn when she stepped off of curb to cross the street. Plaintiff argued the driver was liable since she failed yield to the pedestrian. Plaintiff also argued the owner of the car was liable for negligently entrusting the driver with their car.

RESULT: $2,100,000.00 total settlement. NOTE: This settlement is believed to be the largest reported settlement in California for an injury victim over the age of 80.

Plaintiff, 81 year old Maria R., was walking from her apartment to met friends for coffee at South Coast Plaza in Orange County, California. As she stepped off the northwest corner at the intersection of Bear and South Coast Drive, Defendant Jennifer P. was making a right turn. Defendant Jennifer P. failed to notice Maria R. stepping off of the curb and proceeded to make a right turn, striking Maria R. and causing her to fall and hit her head.

Maria R., complained of pain to her wrist and head, and was taken to Coastal Community Hospital where she was examined and released. The next day, she experienced seizure like symptoms and was taken to the Emergency Room at Western Medical Center, where it was discovered that she had an acute subdural hematoma. Maria R. was operated on to evacuate an intracranial hematoma. Subsequently she was admitted to Tustin Rehabilitation Hospital for rehabilitation. As a result of the accident, Maria R. suffered permanent traumatic brain injuries and experiences problems with impaired cognition, speech and impaired endurance.

Plaintiffs contend that Defendant Jennifer P. violated California Vehicle Code Section 21950(a), for failing to yield the right-of-way to Maria R. who was walking within a marked crosswalk, and that Defendant Michael P. improperly entrusted the vehicle to Jennifer P.

TYPE OF CASE: Auto v. Pedestrian

INJURIES: Plaintiff experienced seizure like symptoms, diagnosed with subdural hematoma. Has lasting cognitive, speech, and endurance impairments.

DATE & LOCATION OF INCIDENT: On 1/14/02 at the intersection of Bear and South Coast Drive in Costa Mesa, California.

PLAINTIFF’S AGE: 81 at time of incident.



Richard A. Cohn
For Plaintiff – Maria R.

Jack McLaughterty & Mark Cwern
For Defendants – Jennifer & Michael P.