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Featured Verdict: Auto v Auto

Martinez-Pineda, et al. v. United States of America, et al. (United States Central District No. 5:17-cv-02256-WDK-SP): On December 23, 2020 Judge William D. Keller entered a bench verdict in favor of plaintiff Miguel Martinez-Pineda for $22 million and against the United States of America. Plaintiff was driving a vehicle owned by his wife, co-plaintiff Aia Altaiba when he rear-ended a light-armored driven by Austin James Bunch, a U.S. Marine, who was traveling in a convoy of other military vehicles. Plaintiff Martinez-Pineda suffered catastrophic injuries as a result of the collision, rendering him a quadriplegic. Plaintiffs argued that the vehicle driven by defendant Bunch had dim taillights and was driving at an unsafe speed of 35mph, too slow for the conditions on the freeway, and that convoy did not use any identifying signs. Defendant argued that Plaintiff was speeding, did not make an effort to slow down and that the subject vehicle driven by Defendant Bunch had proper taillights. The court found that Plaintiff was 15 percent at fault and that the U.S. Government was 85 percent at fault. Plaintiffs were represented by The Law Offices of Ramin R. Younessi.