On December 13, 2018, associate Rob Bennett secured a favorable arbitration award following an arbitration completed on December 11. Rob represented a young college student from Yuba City, sued in Sutter County following an accident in February, 2016. The accident occurred on East Hillcrest Avenue and Windsor Drive in Yuba City. The intersection is offset and the roads do not meet in square 90 degree angles. Prior to the accident, Rob’s client was traveling down Hillcrest whereas the plaintiff was traveling on Windsor. The plaintiff, a local nurse, pulled out from a stop on Windsor just as Rob’s client was entering in the intersection, causing a t-bone type collision.
As a result of the accident, the young plaintiff sustained a fractured pelvis and soft tissue injuries to her neck and back. She was transported to the hospital where the fracture was diagnosed but non-operable. After being off work for three months and completing physical therapy plaintiff’s fracture healed; although she asserted she continued to experience ongoing pain in her pelvis and back. Plaintiff was then referred to Ardavan Aslie, M.D., a Sacramento spine surgeon who recommended two surgical procedures including one on her lumbar spine and on the plaintiff’s coccyx.
At the arbitration, Rob presented a significant defense on liability with the testimony of his engineer. He successfully admitted evidence on the liability associated with the city’s design of the intersection and the comparative fault of the plaintiff’s driving. The plaintiff presented the testimony of her engineer to maintain the liability against Rob’s client but plaintiff’s primary focus was on her injuries and damages. Dr. Aslie testified in person at the hearing where Rob gained significant admissions as to the legitimacy of his proposed future medical care on cross-exam. Plaintiff alleged her past and future economic damages totaled $243,000. Plaintiff requested a total award of $416,000.
Prior to the hearing, defendant served a C.C.P. § 998 offer to resolve for $20,001. The arbitrator awarded $26,658. While Rob just barely missed beating his prior offer, his clients were pleased with the result.