Case details

Plaintiffs claimed collision with city bus caused injuries




Mediated Settlement

Result type

Not present

ankle, back, fracture, right ankle, sprain, strain, upper back
On Dec. 5, 2012, plaintiff Marat Platkov, 81, a retiree, was driving east on Colorado Avenue in Santa Monica, accompanied by his wife, plaintiff Valentina Platkova, 80, a retiree, in the front passenger seat. At approximately 7:50 p.m., while Mr. Platkov yielded to a pedestrian in a mid-block crosswalk at 20th Street, his vehicle was rear-ended by a city of Santa Monica bus operated by Armando Gaitan Mora, a city-employed mechanic testing the bus’s brakes. Mr. Platkov claimed an injury to his right ankle and Mrs. Platkova claimed an injury to her upper back. Mr. Platkov and Mrs. Platkova sued Mora and the city of Santa Monica. The plaintiffs alleged that Mora was negligent in his operation of the bus and that the city was vicariously liable for Mora’s actions through the course and scope of his work for the city. Plaintiffs’ counsel contended that it was dangerous for Mora to test the bus’s brakes on a public street at night and that Mora was under the influence of Prozac (and possibly other prescription drugs) at the time of the accident. Defense counsel contended that it was not dangerous for Mora to test the bus’s brakes on a public street at night. Counsel also contended that Mora was not under the influence while operating the city bus because the Prozac was out of Mora’s system at the time of the accident, as Mora had taken the medication the day before., Mrs. Platkova claimed she suffered an aggravation of a pre-existing spinal fracture at T12. She was subsequently taken by ambulance to an emergency room and later treated with physical therapy. Mrs. Platkova claimed that despite treatment, she suffers ongoing back pain, restricting her mobility and daily activities. Mr. Platkov claimed he suffered a sprained right ankle in the accident. He subsequently treated with minimal physical therapy. Thus, Mr. Platkov and Mrs. Platkova sought recovery of approximately $75,000 in combined past medical costs and approximately $1 million in combined future medical and life care plan costs. They also sought recovery of damages for their pain and suffering. Due to the allegations of Mora being under the influence of psychobiotic drugs at the time of the accident, the judge allowed the plaintiffs to amend their complaint to include a claim for punitive damages. Defense counsel asserted that the plaintiffs’ were all related to pre-existing, degenerative conditions and that any need for future treatment or care was due to those conditions.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles, CA

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