Case details

Family claimed emotional distress from seeing car hit kids





Result type

Not present

bruise, elbow, emotional distress, head, mental, psychological
On March 3, 2013, plaintiff brothers Harrison Toig, 15, and Jonathon Toig, 6, were at the Laurelwood Shopping Center in San Mateo, accompanied by their mother (plaintiff Sheri Toig), their grandmother (plaintiff Connie Ellis Toig), and their younger brother (plaintiff Jack Toig). At approximately 11 a.m., a vehicle operated by Grigoriy Volkov lost control and jumped a concrete curb step, crashing into a garbage can. Jonathon claimed the garbage can subsequently struck him, causing bruises and contusions to his head and right elbow. Harrison claimed the front hood of the car struck his right hand. Sheri Toig, acting individually as her sons’ guardian ad litem, and Connie Toig sued Volkov, alleging that Volkov was negligent in the operation of his vehicle. Sheri and Connie Toig also alleged that Volkov was negligent in the infliction of emotional distress on those who witnessed Harrison and Jonathon being injured in the accident. Volkov admitted liability for the accident, and the matter proceeded to an expedited jury trial on causation and damages., Following the accident, Jonathon was taken by his mother to an emergency room, where he was treated for bruises and contusions to the back of his head, his forehead, and his right elbow. He was then released and had some follow-up exams. Jonathon has since fully healed. Harrison did not seek treatment for his hand, which was allegedly struck by the vehicle. His hand ultimately healed on its own. All of the plaintiffs claimed that the accident caused them emotional distress with bouts of nightmares. Sheri and Connie Toig also claimed they developed a fear of cars in regard to the children. They also claimed, along with Harrison, that they thought Jonathon was killed by the impact. Specifically, Harrison claimed he saw Jonathon go through the air and against the store front, and other testimony claimed that Jonathon was pinned between the stone garbage can and the store front. Jonathon’s family further claimed that the vehicle’s engine continued to rev and that they thought the car may continue to go forward and run them over. In addition, Harrison claimed that they were drinking Jamba Juice at the time of the accident and that when he saw the spilled juice, he thought it was Henry’s blood. Sheri Toig sought recovery of $2,212 in stipulated medical bills on behalf of Jonathon. All of the plaintiffs also sought recovery of damages in the range of $10,000 to $25,000 for each of them due to Volkov’s negligent infliction of emotional distress. Defense counsel argued that the plaintiffs’ emotional distress was not as severe as alleged.
Superior Court of San Mateo County, Redwood City, CA

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