LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A Los Angeles Superior Court jury has awarded $34,555,220 to a man who suffered a below-the-knee amputation after he was hit by the trailer of a semi-truck while he was standing on a sidewalk. The plaintiff was represented at trial by Brian Panish, Thomas Schultz, Erika Contreras and Deborah Chang of Panish Shea & Boyle LLP. Plaintiff was also represented in the case by Banafsheh, Danesh & Javid, P.C.
On the morning of December 7, 2012, 19-year-old Alan Casillas was riding his bicycle and came to a stop on the sidewalk at the intersection of Tweedy Boulevard and Alameda Street in Los Angeles. A tractor-trailer owned and operated by Landstar proceeded into the intersection in an attempt to make a right turn onto Alameda Street. The truck driver drove the 55-foot-long trailer over the sidewalk, striking Mr. Casillas' bicycle and knocking him to the ground. The rear wheels of the trailer ran over Mr. Casillas' left leg, causing him severe injuries which resulted in a lower leg amputation.
Landstar waited until the start of trial to admit fault for the incident, initially arguing that Mr. Casillas was partially responsible for being hit while on the sidewalk because he was inattentive and should have avoided the trailer. At trial, Landstar challenged the extent of Mr. Casillas' damages, telling the jury during closing arguments that Mr. Casillas should be awarded between approximately $5,000,000 and $7,000,000. The jury disagreed and awarded Mr. Casillas $27,875,000 for past and future pain and suffering, $5,941,581 for past and future medical expenses, and $738,639 for past and future loss of earnings.
"Mr. Casillas' life is forever changed as a result of this horrific accident. Rather than accept fault for their negligence, Defendants chose to put the blame on Mr. Casillas right up until the start of trial. Even then, they challenged his damages. The jury appropriately awarded Mr. Casillas an amount that fairly compensates him for their recklessness," said attorney Brian Panish. Attorney Tom Schultz added, "We hope that the jury's verdict allows Mr. Casillas to get the medial treatment he needs and to live the best life possible despite his injuries."
Defendants were represented at trial by James Yukevich of Yukevich Cavanaugh.
Panish Shea & Boyle LLP has obtained four multi-million dollar verdicts in truck accident cases in the last several years, including a $36,482,302.56 jury verdict against Schneider National in a big-rig truck accident that left a woman catastrophically injured and a $20,011,788.17 jury verdict against J.B. Hunt in a hit and run truck crash case. The firm also obtained a $17,120,662 verdict in 2013 for an 85-year-old man who suffered a leg amputation after being hit by bus.
Alan Casillas v. Landstar Ranger, Inc.; Francisco Azurdia
Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles
Case No. BC 500485
Hon. Elizabeth Allen White, Dept. 48