$110,000: Plaintiff Injured When Pinned By Car At John Wayne Airport

CASE DESCRIPTION: Plaintiff was standing behind his daughter’s vehicle near the curb at Terminal A at the airport. Suddenly, Plaintiff was pinned from behind by the Defendant’s vehicle, which crushed his knees. Plaintiff sued to recover medical expenses, loss of consortium, and other damages stemming from his personal damages. The Defendant disputed liability and actual damages of Plaintiff.

RESULT: $110,000.00 total settlement

This litigation arose from an automobile vs. pedestrian incident that occurred at John Wayne Airport in Orange County. Plaintiff, at the time of the incident, was assisting his family in loading luggage in the back of his vehicle. Defendant, also picking up a family member, pulled his vehicle to a position shortly behind Plaintiff’s vehicle. Defendant exited his vehicle and left the engine running. The vehicle suddenly lunged forward and pinned Plaintiff between the two vehicles. Several Orange County Sheriffs who had witnessed the incident were able to back up Defendant’s vehicle freeing Plaintiff. Plaintiff suffered a significant knee injury leading to outpatient surgery.

Plaintiff contended that Defendant was negligent in leaving his vehicle unattended at the airport while the engine was running (a violation of California law). Plaintiff also contended that Defendant left his vehicle in the “drive” position, which caused the vehicle to lung forward directly causing his knee injuries. Plaintiff’s wife Shirley L., claimed to have witnessed the incident to her husband and brought actions of negligent infliction of emotional distress and loss of consortium.

Defendant claims that he left the vehicle in “park” and that the incident happened due to a manufacturing defect in his car. Defendant also disputed the nature and extent of Plaintiff’s injuries. He was prepared to argue that the Plaintiff had minimal residuals from the automobile incident.

TYPE OF CASE: Automobile v. Pedestrian; Personal injury; Negligent infliction of emotional distress; Loss of consortium.

INJURIES: Plaintiff’s left knee was crushed during the incident with left torn meniscus and suprapatellar bands for which he underwent knee surgery. Plaintiff’s medical specials were approximately $17,000.

DATE & LOCATION OF INCIDENT: 10/25/01 at 5: 00 p.m. at John Wayne Airport in Orange County.

PLAINTIFF’S AGE: William L. – 60 at time of incident.

OCCUPATION: William L. – Engineer

Christopher R. Aitken
For Plaintiffs – William & Shirley L.

Lee P. O’Connor
For Defendant – Richard L.

DEFENDANT’S INSURANCE CO.: Mercury Insurance Company