Case details

Plaintiff struck by driver suffered multiple bodily trauma





Result type

Not present

knee, left, legs, lower leg, njuries abdomen, right tibial shaft fracture, traumatic left knee disarticulation
On Sept. 10, 2013, plaintiff Faustino Torres Solorio, 53, a landscaper, was standing behind the tailgate of a Ford F-150 on the shoulder of Alabama Street, in Redlands. As Solorio was getting a gas canister out of the back of the Ford F-150 pickup truck, he was struck by a 1992 Honda Accord operated by Gunnar Ayala, a Nissan parts delivery driver, who had made a right turn off Interstate 10 — also known as the Christopher Columbus Transcontinental Highway and the Redlands Freeway — onto Alabama Street. The impact forced Solorio through the front windshield of Ayala’s vehicle, causing to Solorio’s abdomen and legs. Solorio sued the driver, Gunnar Ayala; the owner of the Honda Accord, Gunnar Ayala’s father, Louie Ayala Jr.; Gunnar Ayala’s employers, Nissan of Fontana Inc., Nissan of San Bernardino, and Metro Nissan of Redlands; and Louie Ayala’s business, L.A.G.D.J. Courier Services. Gunnar Ayala worked for the dealerships of Metro Nissan of Redlands and Nissan of San Bernardino, which is owned by the corporate entity of Nissan of Fontana. Gunnar Ayala was a parts delivery driver who used his father’s vehicle to perform his job. Louie Ayala Jr. set up L.A.G.D.J. Courier Services to work with, and deliver parts between, the dealerships. Plaintiff’s counsel contended that Gunnar Ayala was negligent in the operation of the Nissan Accord while in the course and scope of his employment at the Nissan dealerships. Counsel also contended that Gunnar Ayala was an agent of the Nissan dealerships and was acting within the authority of those agencies when he struck Solorio. Counsel further contended that Louie Ayala Jr. was vicariously liable for his son’s actions. Specifically, plaintiff’s counsel argued that Gunnar Ayala violated Vehicle Code § 22107, for unsafe turning movements, and that Gunnar Ayala was negligent for not using reasonable care while driving a vehicle. Counsel further argued that Gunnar Ayala was negligent for failing to keep a lookout for pedestrians and for failing to use reasonable care when turning. Nissan’s counsel contended that Gunnar Ayala was an independent contractor, so the Nissan companies were not liable for Gunnar Ayala’s actions. The parties ultimately stipulated that Gunnar Ayala was negligent and that his negligence was a substantial factor in causing Solorio harm., Solorio sustained multiple trauma to his body system. He also sustained a right tibial shaft fracture, and his left, lower leg was mangled and essentially hanging on by a thread. As a result, Solorio was transported to Loma Linda University Medical Center, in Loma Linda, where, on the date of the accident, his left leg underwent a traumatic left knee disarticulation, which is an amputation done between bone surfaces, rather than by cutting through bone. Solorio also underwent two more surgeries, both revision surgeries to his left leg, above the knee. In addition, he required an emergency splenectomy due to lacerations to the spleen, as the ruptured spleen was flooding his abdominal cavity with blood, so the spleen had to be removed. Ultimately, Solorio underwent nine surgeries over the course of almost three months at the hospital, before being discharged home with no physical therapy or rehabilitation. He then received a mechanical prosthetic. However, he claimed it ill-fitting, as it was too short and the socket did not fit. As Solorio was a physical laborer, he will not be able to return to work. Thus, Solorio sought recovery of future medical costs, and damages for his past and future pain and suffering.
Superior Court of San Bernardino County, San Bernardino, CA

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