Featured Settlement: Injured Trucker Agrees to $6.75 Million Settlement Over Crash Caused by Alleged Unsafe Road Conditions
Virgl Mortensen v. State of California, et al. (Los Angeles Super Ct. No. 19STCV24786): On September 20, 2021 the parties in a matter involving an injured big-rig driver agreed to the terms of a $6.75 million settlement. Plaintiff Virgil Mortensen was operating a big rig in rainy and windy conditions on an overpass connecting the northbound I-5 and the westbound 118 freeway. He lost control of his truck, striking the concrete barrier and drove over, sustaining injuries including traumatic brain injury in the process. Plaintiff alleged that a previous accident compromised the integrity of the barrier, and that had Caltrans made the appropriate repairs including a steel reinforcement, his big rig would not have crashed through and over the barrier. Defendant argued that plaintiff negligently operated his big rid by driving at an unsafe speed, that he was on a cell phone during the time of the accident, and that the wall he crashed into was not designed to withstand the impact of such a vehicle given the conditions. Plaintiff was represented by Yuhl Carr LLP.