Case details

Limousine driver exiting driveway caused crash: plaintiff





Result type

Not present

herniated disc, neck
On April 1, 2015, plaintiff Janet Allahverdian, 50, a medical physicist, was driving in the left-turn lane of the eastbound side of Beverly Boulevard, near its intersection at North Sherbourne Drive, in West Hollywood. As she entered the intersection, the front right corner of her vehicle was struck by the left front corner of a limousine operated by Vardan Gundrachyan, who was executing a left turn onto the westbound side of Beverly Boulevard, from a driveway located on the eastbound side of the roadway. Allahverdian claimed that she suffered of her neck. Allahverdian sued Gundrachyan and Gundrachyan’s employer, Grigor Stepanian. Allahverdian alleged that Gundrachyan was negligent in the operation of his vehicle and that Stepanian was vicariously liable for Gundrachyan’s actions. Allahverdian claimed that the collision occurred while she was executing a left turn onto the northbound side of North Sherbourne Drive. Allahverdian’s accident-reconstruction expert opined that Allahverdian was in the left-turn lane of Beverly Boulevard when she began her turn and that Gundrachyan was solely to blame for the crash. Gundrachyan claimed that Allahverdian was at least partially to blame for the collision, claming that Allahverdian had entered the median lane, which becomes the left-turn lane, near the prior intersection and was attempting to speed past the two lanes of eastbound through traffic. He also claimed that, given Allahverdian’s inappropriately high speed, she must have been planning to proceed straight through the intersection, despite being in the left-turn lane. In response, plaintiff’s counsel pointed out that Gundrachyan testified that he didn’t see Allahverdian until the actual collision. As a result, plaintiff’s counsel argued that Gundrachyan didn’t see when Allahverdian entered the left-turn lane and that Gundrachyan therefore didn’t have any credible way to judge Allahverdian’s speed. In addition, Allahverdian’s accident-reconstruction expert testified that there was no evidence that Allahverdian was speeding or attempting to pass cars in the median. He opined that Allahverdian was traveling at around 8 mph to 10 mph and that Gundrachyan was traveling between 3 mph and 5 mph when the collision occurred., Allahverdian claimed that she sustained a herniated disc at the C6-7 level. She presented to a chiropractor 11 days after the accident, and she underwent three chiropractic sessions. Allahverdian claimed that her neck’s condition is still not fully resolved and that her injury makes activities harder to do. She claimed that neurosurgeons have recommended surgery on an adjacent segment of her spine. Allahverdian’s expert neurosurgeon opined that Allahverdian will require surgery as her spine ages. The expert opined that the surgery would cost around $200,000. Allahverdian sought recovery of a total of $1.4 million for past medical costs, future medical costs, and past and future pain and suffering. Defense counsel agreed that Allahverdian had a herniated disc at C6-7 but argued that the accident was not the cause of the injury. Counsel also argued that Allahverdian has only treated with chiropractic care and that Allahverdian would not undergo the recommended surgery. As a result, defense counsel asked the jury to only award Allahverdian between $15,000 and $20,000. In response, plaintiff’s counsel noted that the defense did not present a medical expert to dispute the testimony of Allahverdian’s expert neurosurgeon.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles, CA

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