$625,000: Motorist Driving On Wrong Side Of Road Hits Motorcyclist

CASE DESCRIPTION: Plaintiff while cycling up Mount Baldy briefly stops on the right hand edge of the road and was struck by a driver.  Driver was in the course and scope of employment when the accident occurred.  Since liability was not disputed, the parties only disputed actual damages.

RESULT: $625,000.00 total settlement

On April 19, 2002, Plaintiff was riding up Glendora Mountain Road toward Mount Baldy on his 1993 BMW 1100CC motorcycle.  His nephew followed along traveling on a motorcycle his uncle, John Doe, had just purchased for him as an early graduation gift.  As Plaintiffs proceeded on the winding two-lane road up the mountain, the nephew who was still growing accustomed to his new motorcycle, fell slightly behind his uncle. The uncle slowed and stopped on the right hand edge of the roadway, immediately before entering a right hand curve.While looking back momentarily to check on his nephew’s progress, suddenly and without warning, he was struck head on by a Porsche driven by Defendant Roe Driver, who was in the course and scope of his employment with Roe Company. Defendant Roe Driver was proceeding down the two lane road in the opposite direction and crossed the center dividing line, striking the uncle head-on, which sent him up and over the Porsche, only to land head first on the pavement.

Plaintiff argued that Roe Driver was an employee and in the course and scope of his employment to Roe Company while driving their Porsche.  Roe Driver was also identified in the Traffic Collision Report as being the primary cause of the incident for being in violation of C.V.C. §21650, for driving on the wrong side of the road.

The Defendants admitted liability.  However, the defense was still prepared to argue that although Plaintiff did sustain multiple injuries his recovery was virtually 100%, which should drastically reduced his damages and recovery.

TYPE OF CASE: Auto v. Motorcycle/pedestrian; Loss of consortium

INJURIES: John Doe sustained a closed head trauma requiring one and one half months of rehabilitation.  He also sustained a fractured collar bone, and fractured back vertebrae.  His recovery was virtually 100% from his injuries (after two and one half months off work).

DATE & LOCATION OF INCIDENT: 4/19/02 on Glendora Mountain Road, County of Los Angeles.

PLAINTIFF’S AGE: 56 at time of incident

OCCUPATION: Self-employed Video Editing Machine Manufacture

Richard A. Cohn
For Plaintiffs – John & Jane Doe

Catherine Kim
For Defendants – Roe Driver & Roe Company