VICTORVILLE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Attorneys Rahul Ravipudi, Paul Traina and Ian Samson of Panish Shea & Boyle LLP and Bobby Saadian and Jonathan Teller of Wilshire Law Firm have obtained an $28,500,000 settlement for Fabian Sanchez, a special needs student who was catastrophically injured after being struck by a vehicle while under the care and supervision of Victor Elementary School District (VESD) personnel. In addition to the monetary settlement and as a condition of the agreement with the family, VESD has implemented changes to its District Board Policies and Procedures for Individualized Education Programs and 504 plans, will obtain third party evaluations and recommendations in implementing those changes with results to be made publicly available for other school districts, and will create a web-based collection of resources for parents of students in special education.
"Schools often overlook the needs of children in special education and Fabian's story is the tragic result of that pattern and practice," Panish Shea & Boyle LLP partner Rahul Ravipudi said. "We will continue to advocate for all children with special needs and pursue legislation in Fabian's name so that no other child or family suffers the same consequences when District personnel neglect their responsibilities to students entrusted in their care."
Following dismissal from Puesta Del Sol Elementary School on February 3, 2017, Fabian was escorted to the edge of campus by District personnel who walked him across a street, and then left the 11-year-old special needs student to walk home alone – a direct violation of his "curb-to-curb transportation" Individualized Education Plan (IEP) established by the District. Tragically, but not unexpectedly, Fabian attempted to cross a four-lane road just a few blocks from his Victorville school unattended and was struck by a car traveling approximately 50 mph.
As a result of this life-altering event, Fabian suffered catastrophic injuries, including a severe traumatic brain injury, complex facial fractures, serious internal hemorrhaging, and several broken bones. He was transported to Loma Linda Medical Center where he remained in an induced coma and was hospitalized for months. Fabian's cognitive function, speech, and motor control remain severely impaired as a result of his injuries and he will require 24/7 care, therapy, and medical attention for the remainder of his life.
In a bifurcated bench trial before the Honorable Wilfred J. Schneider Jr., the Court concluded VESD was negligent and found to be solely liable for Fabian's injuries. Prior to the damages phase of trial, a mediation was held and the parties agreed to settle the matter for $28,500,000. The District made no offers to settle the case prior to trial.
“The school district offered our client $0 and rigorously fought liability throughout the last two years,” remarked Teller, Wilshire Law Firm’s senior trial attorney. “Our entire team welcomed the opportunity to not only protect our client, but protect students nationwide, and that is why we took on this fight and succeeded.”
Defendant Victor Elementary School District (VESD) was represented in the case by Michael J. Marlatt and Priscilla Hernandez of Thomson & Colegate LLP.
Fabian Luciano Sanchez, et al v. Victor Elementary School District, et al
Superior Court in the State of California, County of San Bernardino
Case No. CIVDS1719667
Panish Shea & Boyle LLP is a nationally recognized personal injury law firm representing plaintiffs in catastrophic injury, wrongful death, product liability, mass torts/class action, sexual abuse/assault and business litigation cases. Firm attorneys have obtained some of the most significant awards for plaintiffs in U.S. history and are repeatedly recognized for excellence by other trial attorneys, legal organizations and publications nationwide. The firm is ranked by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers® as a "Tier 1" Firm – the highest ranking a firm can receive – in the areas of Plaintiffs Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions, Plaintiffs Personal Injury Litigation and Plaintiffs Product Liability Litigation, and is recognized as being among the top Plaintiff's law firms in the country by the National Law Journal.
Founded in 2007 by Bobby Saadian, Esq., Wilshire Law Firm is an award-winning personal injury, employment law, and class action law firm. Recognized by U.S. News and World Report and Best Lawyers as one of 2020’s “Best Law Firms” in Tier 2 of Plaintiffs Personal Injury Litigation, the firm’s attorneys are consistently recognized throughout the legal industry for their excellence. To date, our team of over 130 legal professionals has recovered more than $400,000,000 for the Wilshire Law Firm client family, providing exceptional service every step of the way.