In April 2018, Orange County, CA Plaintiff, Jose Luis Nunez, reached a
$9M settlement with a confidential truck-driver defendant after Nunez
struck the passenger side of the trailer while riding in an intersection
on a flashing “don’t walk” signal. Nunez and the truck
driver had been travelling in the same direction, with Nunez on the sidewalk,
parallel to the semi-trailer. The truck-driver turned right at the intersection
on a green light when Nunez entered at the same time and struck the trailer
with his bicycle. Although the police report found Nunez at-fault for
failing to yield the right-of-way, in violation of Vehicle Code section
21804(a), Nunez claimed the truck-driver was inattentive because he failed
to notice Nunez, even as Nunez passed him prior to entering the intersection.
Although Nunez survived the crash, he suffered major injuries including
the loss of a leg, testicles, pelvic fractures and abdominal avulsions.
The settlement comes on the heels of a national report that found 70% of
all hit-and-run fatalities in the United States involve pedestrians and
cyclists. According to a report issued by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the number of hit-and-run
fatalities jumped 61% from 2009 to 2016. Last year, traffic-related fatalities
surpassed 40,000 for second year in a row, according to the National Safety Council.
With the rise of bicycle and pedestrian commuters, there appears to be
a concomitant rise in auto v. bicycle/pedestrian litigation yielding astronomical
verdicts for accident victims and their families. In addition to Nunez
settlement discussed above (
Jose Luis Nunez v. Confidential
Orange County Super Ct., No. 30-2015-00786869),
this month’s CTD publication features an
$18.7 million Las Vegas, Nevada verdict in a case brought by the
family of a surgeon struck and killed by a bus while riding a bicycle (
Khiabani v. Motor Coach Industries, Inc., et al.
, Las Vegas, 8th District Ct., No. A-17-755-977-C). We also feature a
$4 Million Orange County verdict involving a 16-year-old who was fatally
injured while riding a skateboard in a designated bike lane
Rodriguez, et al. v. Ulloa, et al., Orange County Super Ct., No. 30-2016-00853728).
In our February 2018 CTD publication, we featured a $5.2 million Los Angeles
County verdict against defendant Avis Budget Group. brought by an injured
anchez v. Avis Budget Group
, Los Angeles Super Ct. No. BC568846).