Case details

Driver of pickup ran red light, causing crash: garbage truck driver




Mediated Settlement

Result type

Not present

back, died, herniated disc, neck, nerve impingement, nerve impingement neck, neurological, traumatic amputation right leg
At around 5:10 a.m. on March 19, 2010, plaintiff Fernando Gonzalez, 51, a garbage collector, was driving a garbage truck when he entered the intersection of Fourth Street and King Street, in San Francisco, and was struck by a pickup truck operated by Dwain Davis. The impact caused Davis’ pickup truck to spin out of control until it came to rest against a set of stairs leading up to a municipal railway passenger platform. A pedestrian, George Schaeffer, who was a homeless person, was standing on or near the stairs and was struck by Davis’ pickup truck. Schaeffer suffered a traumatic amputation of his right leg and died at the scene; Davis had minor and declined transport to a hospital; and Gonzalez claimed to his neck and back. Gonzalez sued Dwain Alan Davis and Davis’ employer, Templeton Properties, LLC (initially sued as Templeton Enterprises, LLC). Gonzalez alleged that Davis was negligent in the operation of his pickup truck and that Templeton Properties was liable for Davis’ actions. Schaeffer’s heirs brought a separate action against Dwain Davis (initially sued as “Dwaine” Davis) and Templeton Properties, LLC. They also alleged that Davis was negligent and that Templeton Properties was liable for Davis’ actions. The matters were ultimately consolidated. However, the defendants ultimately settled with Schaeffer’s heirs. Thus, the matter of Gonzalez’s claims against the defendants proceeded to mediation. Gonzalez’s counsel contended that Davis ran a red light and committed multiple violations of the California Vehicle Code, including speeding. Counsel also contended that at the time of the crash, Davis’ blood alcohol level was found to be elevated. Thus, Gonzalez’s counsel asserted that Davis’ negligence caused the crash. Defense counsel contended that Gonzalez was traveling well over the speed limit at the time of the crash. Thus, counsel asserted that Gonzalez was at least partially to blame for the collision., Gonzalez sustained a cervical disc herniation at the C5-6 level with impingement of the spinal cord. He was subsequently taken to a hospital for treatment and he ultimately underwent a cervical fusion from C4 to C6. Gonzalez claimed that his neck condition would likely prevent him from ever working as a garbage collector again. Thus, he sought recovery for his medical costs and lost earnings. He also sought recovery of damages for his pain and suffering. In addition, Gonzalez sought recovery of punitive damages, claiming that Davis’ conduct was willful and wanton.
Superior Court of San Francisco County, San Francisco, CA

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