DATE: March 21, 2011
CASE: MACIAS v. STATE OF CALIFORNIA
TOPIC: PERSONAL INJURY, NEGLIGENCE
CASE NO.: 09C0053
COURT/COUNTY: Superior Court of the State of California, Kings County
JUDGE: Hon. James T. Laporte, Dept. 4
MEDIATOR: Michelle Reinglass, Esq.
Brian Panish and Thomas Schultz - PANISH, SHEA & BOYLE, LLP (Los Angeles, California)
Michael Silvers - Las Offices of Michael Silvers (Los Angeles, California)
Kamala Harris, Attorney General; and Alberto Gonzalez, Supervising Deputy Attorney General, State of California
On January 5, 2008, April Macias (37 years old) was driving her two minor children Korin Macias (16 years old) and Michael Macias (14 years old) home from school in her 2005 Ford Excursion. April was travelling westbound on Highway 198. At the same time, a 75 year old employee of the State of California driving a State vehicle, was travelling eastbound on Highway 198.
Inexplicably, the State employee turned left directly in front of Plaintiff’s vehicle causing her to collide with the broadside of the State vehicle. The brunt of the impact was felt in the left front of the vehicle where April was sitting. April lost consciousness and had to be carried out of the car through the rear window by her two minor children.
After the accident, April, Michael and Korin were transported by ambulance to a local hospital for medical treatment.
At the scene of the accident, Plaintiff complained of head, neck, shoulder, hips, legs and back pain. She was later diagnosed as having suffered a concussion as well as a cervical sprain/strain with radicular symptoms, a left AC joint tear, left shoulder internal derangement and positive impingement sign, lumbar sprain/strain, rib contusion and coastal chondritis. In addition, she underwent six surgeries to treat neuropathy in her left wrist and upper extremities. Even after the surgeries, Plaintiff suffered chronic pain in her hands, back and neck.
Michael and Korin suffered abrasions and contusions to their face and bodies. Korin was also diagnosed with bursitis in her left tricep.
As a result of her injuries, Plaintiff was unable to return to work. At the time of the accident, Plaintiff worked in a deli as a food preparer. She had taken this job in order to have more time to raise her children. Prior to working as a food preparer, Plaintiff worked as an administrative assistant/secretary. Due to the injuries to her hands, Plaintiff’s secretarial abilities were severely limited.
Plaintiff claimed past and future lost income, loss of earning capacity and past and future medical expenses.
Michael and Korin claimed damages for negligent infliction of emotional distress both as bystanders and as direct victims.
In February of 2011, shortly after Brian Panish and Thomas Schultz of Panish, Shea & Boyle were associated in, Defendant admitted liability in this action. Defendant further stipulated that their driver was solely responsible for the accident and that he was working within the course and scope of his employment at the time of the collision. The only issues to be determined at trial was the nature and extent of the injuries and damages to Plaintiffs.
The case settled for $2.5 million during mediation before Michelle Reinglass, Esq., on March 21, 2011.