Case details

Plaintiff alleged crash caused head injury and vehicle losses





Result type

Not present

brain, concussion, head, head injury, headaches
On July 17, 2012, plaintiff Kieran Cox, a computer software engineer and an independent contractor, was driving his Jeep Wrangler Rubicon on westbound Castro Street, in Oakland. As he entered the intersection with Fifth Street, his vehicle was broadsided by an 18-wheeled tractor-trailer operated by Chunta Ho, who entered the intersection from 5th Street. Cox claimed to his head. Cox sued Ho and the companies that Ho owned, Transforward Freight Lines and World Transportation. Cox alleged that Ho was negligent in the operation of the tractor-trailer and ran a red light on 5th Street. Ho conceded liability., Though Cox’s vehicle was struck, he was able to walk away from the accident. However, he developed headaches and, the following day, he went to see a physician. Cox was ultimately diagnosed with a mild concussion, and he was recommended ibuprofen and told it might get better on its own. Though Cox’s headaches did subside, he claimed he was not able to work during the two to three weeks that he was recovering, as he did not have his wits about him, and that as a result, he lost valuable contracts, specifically two lucrative ones. Cox also claimed that as an independent contractor, he lost volume from work, as he was not recommended or extended for work from the two software engineering contracts he lost, as was typical in the business. He further claimed that his vehicle, which was completely totaled in the collision, was lost and that he lost the benefit of a unique vehicle lifetime powertrain warranty, which was only offered by Chrysler for his vehicle’s specific model year. In addition, Cox claimed that he lost the use of his vehicle for two years, as the defendants would not settle the vehicle claim for two years. The plaintiff’s expert economist opined that Cox lost between $142,945 and $143,138 in lost earnings because of lost work time, lost business opportunities, and lost goodwill, as well as because of the loss of value of Cox’s time, the loss of vehicle, the loss of use of the vehicle, and the loss of value of the lifetime powertrain warranty on Cox’s vehicle. Defense counsel noted that the defendants offered to settle two weeks after the date of loss for the value of Cox’s vehicle, which was $34,000, but that the dispute was related to the value of the lifetime powertrain warranty, as Cox sought $10,000 for that alone. Defense counsel contended that the defendants should not have to pay for the alleged amount of the lifetime powertrain warranty and the alleged amount for lost earnings and loss of volume of work because Cox did not meet his burden of proving the reasonable value of a lifetime powertrain warranty and alleged lost earnings and/or lost business opportunity. For example, counsel contended that Cox did not offer any business records to support his alleged losses. In addition, defense counsel contended that Cox’s documented treatment was limited to one visit and that Cox recovered from his alleged injury. Thus, counsel argued that the defendants should not have to pay any damages, but that if the jury were to award Cox anything, it should only award $44,121.
Superior Court of Alameda County, Oakland, CA

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