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$249K Settlement for Crossing Guard Hit by Car

yellow and black school crossing sign
The defendant driver hit the plaintiff with the right front fender of his car, causing severe injuries to her low back, sacroiliac and right hip.

A California judge approved a $249,000 settlement for 81-year-old school crossing guard Marie Dipilla, who sustained hip, back and leg injuries when struck by motorist Yadir Ramirez while Dipilla was working as a school crossing guard in 2011.

The defendant driver drove into a school crossing intersection and hit Dipilla with the right front fender of his car which caused her to fall on her right side, causing severe injuries to Dipilla’s low back, sacroiliac and right hip. The defendant's insurance company offered only $80,000 to settle and that offer was declined.

According to attorney John P. Burns, Dipilla’s attorney: “Unfortunately, case documents showed that, although defendant Ramirez had an automobile liability policy of $250,000, he had no other assets to pay a judgment in excess of that amount. So even if a judgment was obtained against the driver for more than $250,000 there would be no money to pay it.”

At a March 7, 2014 mandatory settlement conference, the insurance company offered $249,000 to settle the case, which attorney Burns and Dipilla accepted.

“I am extremely pleased that the insurance company finally agreed to pay. Under the circumstances, it was financially a good decision for Marie to accept the $249,000. Marie has suffered serious injuries and this settlement will help her obtain the continuing medical and pain management treatment she needs without the added costs and stress of a trial,” said Burns, who is located in San Juan Capistrano, CA.

The case is No. 30-2013-00635929 in Orange County Superior Court.

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