LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A Los Angeles County Superior Court jury has awarded $6,298,237 to a 70-year-old woman who suffered severe injuries after being struck by a tour bus making a right turn while she was crossing the street. The Plaintiffs were represented at trial by Adam Shea and Patrick Gunning of Panish Shea & Boyle LLP and in the case by Scott J. Corwin of Scott J. Corwin, APLC.
On the morning of August 14, 2015, Plaintiff Soila Enriquez was being driven to a 9:00 a.m. doctor’s appointment at White Memorial Hospital near the intersection of Boyle Avenue and Cesar E. Chavez Avenue by her son Jaime Enriquez. Worried she would be late for her appointment, and stuck behind a tour bus waiting to turn right, Ms. Enriquez exited her son’s car and began to “power walk” up the sidewalk. Ms. Enriquez arrived at the corner with 7 seconds left on a flashing “Do Not Walk” signal, paused to allow several pedestrians to pass onto the sidewalk, then entered the crosswalk in violation of C.V.C. §21456. After entering the crosswalk and taking several steps, Ms. Enriquez was struck by the turning tour bus and fell to the ground, where the right rear tires of the bus ran over her lower legs.
As result of the incident, the elderly pedestrian suffered severe lower leg injuries, including bilateral tibia and fibula fractures as well as de-gloving and scarring, leading to the development of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) and other complications.
In deposition prior to trial, the Defendant bus driver testified he had an unobstructed view of the entire crosswalk from end to end before he began his right turn, and performed the turn safely. However, at trial, the Defendant driver and their expert witnesses were forced to admit that his turn was made using several inappropriate techniques. Proper turning and looking techniques would have let the bus driver see Plaintiff in the crosswalk and take action to ensure her safety.
Before the incident, Ms. Enriquez was a vibrant and independent woman despite a medical history of diabetes, cancer, and other significant preexisting conditions that required in-home care provided by her son. As a result of the Defendant’s bus injuring her legs, Ms. Enriquez was forced to undergo several surgeries, and will require additional pain management care, surgeries, and additional in-home care in the future.
At trial, the defense argued that Plaintiff alone caused the incident by illegally and unsafely entering the crosswalk while the turning bus was close enough to be an immediate hazard, that according to multiple witnesses Plaintiff fell in the crosswalk without being struck by the bus, and that Plaintiff had committed perjury multiple times and her testimony should be disregarded. Defendant’s counsel requested a defense verdict and an award of zero to the Plaintiff.
The jury disagreed and found in favor of Ms. Enriquez, awarding a total of $6,298,237 in damages, including $898,237 for past medical expenses, $1,400,000 in future medical expenses, $2,000,000 in past general damages and $2,000,000 in future general damages.
The defendants were represented at trial by Michael Schonbuch and Mary Fersch of Daniels, Fine, Israel, Schonbuch & Lebovits, LLP.
Enriquez v. Gonzalez Travel & Tours, Inc., et al.
Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles – Central District
Case No. BC619159
Hon. Victor Chavez
About Panish Shea & Boyle LLP
Panish Shea & Boyle LLP represents plaintiffs in wrongful death, catastrophic personal injury, product liability, product liability, mass torts, and business litigation cases. Firm attorneys are repeatedly recognized for their excellence by other trial attorneys, legal organizations and publications nationwide and have dedicated themselves to obtaining justice for clients who are often dealing with a life-altering injury, death of a family member or other challenges caused by the wrongful act of another. With this mission at the heart of its work, the firm has a proven track record of obtaining significant, and often record-breaking verdicts, including the largest personal injury verdict in United States history ($4.9 billion), a $160.5 million jury verdict for a man who suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of a vicious beating by security personnel for a nightclub, a $36.5 million jury verdict in a big-rig crash that left a woman with severe spinal cord injuries, and a $32.5 million verdict for a man who suffered a below the knee amputation after being hit by a tractor trailer. The firm is consistently ranked among the best plaintiff's law firms in the country, including by U.S. News & World Report, where it has been recognized as a Tier One law firm in the areas of Plaintiffs Personal Injury Litigation and Plaintiffs Product Liability Litigation, as well as by the National Law Journal which has named the firm in its list of Elite Trial Lawyers. For more information, visit psblaw.com.