Case details

Lawsuit: Driver failed to see man behind disabled vehicle





Result type

Not present

above the knee, leg, leg amputation
On Oct. 23, 2017, plaintiff Gabriel Abikzer, 46, an executive chef, was driving his 2015 Mercedes-Benz S550 on Mason Avenue, in Los Angeles. The vehicle was equipped with ECO Start/Stop technology, which allegedly allows fuel savings and reduced emissions by reducing the idling of the engine without altering the driver’s operation. When Abikzer was south of Corbin Avenue, he suffered some engine trouble and was unable to restart his car. As a result, he got out of his vehicle while it was on Mason Avenue. While Abikzer was near the back of his disabled vehicle, attempting to remove items from the trunk, he was struck by a truck operated by Jeffrey Joel, a Los Angeles city building inspector. Abikzer sustained to his legs. Abikzer sued the manufacturer of his vehicle, Mercedes-Benz USA LLC; Mercedes-Benz’s parent company, AG Daimler; the driver of vehicle that struck him Jeffrey Joel; and Joel’s employer, the city of Los Angeles. Abikzer alleged that Joel was negligent in the operation of his vehicle and that the city was vicariously liable for Joel’s actions while in the course and scope of his employment. Abikzer also alleged Mercedes-Benz and AG Daimler defectively designed and/or manufactured his vehicle, causing it to stop of the roadway. Plaintiff’s counsel initially contended that Abikzer’s vehicle contained a defective software program that led to the engine’s failure. However, after further investigation and testing, it was revealed that the alleged software issue was likely unrelated to the engine failure. As a result, AG Daimler and Mercedes-Benz settled out of the case for an undisclosed amount. Plaintiff’s counsel asserted that Joel was inattentive and driving too fast for the road conditions and that as a result, Joel caused the collision. Joel claimed that he was not speeding and that he did not see an individual behind the disabled vehicle prior to the impact.  , One of Abikzer’s legs was traumatically amputated above-the-knee at the scene due to the force of the accident. Abikzer was taken to a hospital, where his other leg was later surgically amputated above-the-knee, as it could not be saved. Abikzer has been unable to work since the accident, but he claimed that he holds out hope that he will cook professionally in the future. Abikzer sought recovery of past and future medical costs, past and future earnings, and damages for his past and future pain and suffering. His wife, Maria Abikzer, presented a derivative claim seek recovery for her loss of consortium.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Chatsworth, CA

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