$1,160,000: UPS Driver Collects Over Seven Figure Settlement in Auto v. Tractor Trailer Incident

CASE DESCRIPTION: This litigation arose out of a tragic automobile incident that

occurred on May 20, 2004.  Plaintiff Bruce B, in a UPS tractor trailer and in the course and scope of his employment, was struck on the side of his tractor trailer by Defendant Mina R while he was crossing the intersection of El Toro Road after exiting the 73 toll road.  The tractor trailer overturned as a result of the incident.  Plaintiffs contended that Defendant ran a red light and was 100% at fault for the resulting incident.  As plaintiff himself did not remember in detail the subject incident, the liability was established through independent witness testimony.

Due to the impact, Bruce B’s UPS tractor trailer overturned causing multiple injuries.  Plaintiff, Bruce B, brought a cause of action against defendant for negligence alleging defendant ran a red light.  Plaintiffs wife, Antoinette B, brought a cause of action for loss of consortium.  Defendant denied plaintiffs contentions and the nature and extent of their injuries.  UPS brought a complaint in intervention.

RESULT:  $1,160,000

Plaintiff contended, through vocational and economic expert testimony, that he suffered extensive losses of past and future economics.  Plaintiff contended that his future intention was to continue as a tractor trailer driver for another company.  Plaintiff, through medical expert testimony, contended that due to his multiple pulmonary emboli that he would be subject to life time medication.

Defendant contended that she entered the intersection on a yellow signal and that Plaintiff was also, at minimum, comparatively liable for his injuries.  Defendant contended that Plaintiff was able to work as a tractor trailer driver until normal retirement age.  As such, Defendant contended that Plaintiff suffered minimal economic losses.  Defendant, through medical expert testimony, disputed the nature and extent of Plaintiff’s injuries.

TYPE OF CASE: Personal Injury; Loss of Consortium

INJURIES: Plaintiffs also contended that the multiple injuries suffered, including two separate instances of bilateral pulmonary emboli, closed head injuries, rib fractures and multiple abrasions, were caused in the subject incident.  Plaintiff, Bruce B, was hospitalized on two separate occasions with a diagnosis of pulmonary emboli.  Due to such traumatic emboli, Plaintiff contended that he was unable to work as a tractor trailer driver due to the dangers of prolonged sitting among other issues.  Bruce B, a 30 year employee of UPS, was thereby forced to transfer his position to a bad address clerk and claimed, as a result, he lost his seniority at UPS and pension benefits.

DATE & LOCATION OF INCIDENT: May 20, 2004 at about 10:00 p.m., at the intersection of El Toro Road and SR-73, Laguna Beach, California.

OCCUPATION: Tractor-trailer Driver for UPS

This matter was resolved, shortly prior to trial, through two mediations in front of Troy Roe of Judicate West.

The defendant, Mina R, contributed $1,000,000 to the settlement.  UPS In Intervention waived its workers compensation benefits already provided to Bruce B (approximately $160,000).

Chris R. Aitken, Esq.
For Plaintiffs – Bruce and Antoinette B.

Douglas D. Cullins, Esq.
For Defendant – Mina R.
Sherry Santa Cruz, Esq.

For UPS in intervention