Case details

Plaintiff’s unsafe turn caused collision, defense argued





Result type

Not present

brain, brain damage, brain injury, face, facial, fracture, head, headaches, hip, hip head, nose, sensory, speech, traumatic brain injury, vertigo
On April 30, 2016, plaintiff Joseph Barbara, 63, a restaurant owner, was driving his sports car at the four-way intersection of Pacific Coast Highway and Second Street, in Seal Beach, when his vehicle was broadsided by a sport utility vehicle driven by Michael Del Grande. The collision forced Barbara’s car off the road and into a light pole. Barbara sustained to his face, head and left hip. Barbara sued Del Grande and the registered owner of the vehicle, David Del Grande. Barbara alleged that Michael Del Grande was negligent in the operation of his SUV and that David Del Grande was vicariously liable for Michael Del Grande’s actions. David Del Grande was dismissed prior to trial for a waiver of costs. Barbara alleged that he was given a green left turn signal and attempted to make a left turn from westbound Second Street onto southbound Pacific Coast Highway. He claimed that as he was completing the turn, Michael Del Grande ran a red light on southbound Pacific Coast Highway, causing the crash. Plaintiff’s counsel argued that Del Grande failed to yield the right of way, was inattentive and was speeding in violation of the California Vehicle Code, making Del Grande 100 percent responsible for the collision. Del Grande claimed that he was traveling at 35 mph and that Barbara was traveling at 20 mph when the collision occurred south of the intersection. Del Grande alleged that Barbara was either making a left turn or a U-turn from northbound Pacific Coast Highway, and was cutting across the southbound lanes of travel when the collision occurred. Del Grande claimed he never saw Barbara’s vehicle until it suddenly appeared in front of him, causing him to broadside Barbara’s vehicle. Defense counsel argued that Barbara was 100 percent responsible for the collision because of Barbara’s unsafe left turn or U-turn, inattention, failure to yield and various other Vehicle Code violations., Barbara sustained fractures of the left hip, nose and left orbit. He also was knocked unconscious, sustained a mild traumatic brain injury, and suffered numerous lacerations. Barbara was transported by ambulance to St. Mary Medical Center, in Long Beach, where he underwent immediate surgery to replace his fractured hip. He was then transported to Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, where he remained for two weeks before his discharge. Barbara went on to receive care and treatment from 17 additional medical providers over the next two years. During that time, he received physical therapy for his hip and surgery to repair his fractured nose. Barbara claimed he continues to suffer dizziness, vertigo and headaches. Barbara sought recovery of $76,610.24 in past net medical costs and damages for his pain and suffering. (He did not make a claim for lost earnings or future medical care.) Defense counsel stipulated that Barbara’s were caused by the accident. Counsel also stipulated that Barbara’s medical treatment and bills were reasonable, necessary and a result of the collision.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Torrance, CA

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