Case details

Reversing vehicle struck child, causing multiple fractures: suit





Result type

Not present

fracture, hip, leg
On June 25, 2010, plaintiff Mireyli Yamileth Gomez, 4, was playing in the parking lot of an apartment complex at the 3800 block of Stobbs Way in Rubidoux, where Mireyli resided with her parents and three siblings. At approximately 8:30 p.m., Mireyli was struck by a sport utility vehicle operated by Hugo Aguirre, who was backing out of a parking spot. The SUV’s rear tire initially ran over Mireyli, but Aguirre then shifted into drive and rolled over Mireyli a second time. As a result, Mireyli suffered to her left pelvis, right hip, and left leg, as well as internal . Aguirre fled the scene of the accident, but later returned and was arrested and convicted for the hit and run. Sergio Gomez, who was acting as Mireyli’s guardian ad litem, and Mireyli’s mother, Angelica Meza, sued Aguirre and the owner of the apartment complex, Jim Fakhoury. Gomez and Meza alleged that Aguirre was negligent in the operation of the SUV and that Fakhoury was negligent for failing to address a dangerous condition at the apartment complex. Meza claimed that she was watching the children play in the parking lot from the doorway of her apartment, but that she turned away to check on food that was cooking when the accident occurred. Plaintiffs’ counsel contended that Fakhoury failed to make an area safe for children to play, causing them to commonly play in the complex’s parking lot. Counsel also contended that even though Aguirre was not charged with driving under the influence, he had consumed alcohol in the parking lot prior to the accident, which impaired his operation of the SUV. Fakhoury claimed that he was not responsible and that the accident was caused by Aguirre’s inattentiveness and Meza’s lack of supervision. However, Fakhoury ultimately settled for a confidential amount prior to jury selection. Since, Aguirre was convicted for the hit and run, he did not appear at trial, and a default judgment was entered against him. Thus, the court directed a verdict as to liability, and the jury was left to determine damages., Mireyli sustained fractures of her left pelvis, right hip, and left leg, as well as internal . She was subsequently taken from the scene of the accident by ambulance and brought to the Emergency Room at Loma Linda University Medical Center. The next day, June 26, 2010, Mireyli underwent a cystogram, followed by an exploratory laparotomy two days later. On June 29, 2010, Mireyli suffered respiratory failure and required endotracheal intubation. She then underwent aspiration of her left hip joint on July 8, 2010. Due to significant complications, Mireyli remained hospitalized for two months, during which she received physical therapy rehabilitation. She later required a decompression of her left hip, with the placement of a drain on July 10, 2012. Plaintiffs’ counsel contended that Mireyli made a good recovery, in that she is able to play and perform all activities that other children her age could do, but that she tires after 30 minutes and has to rest. Counsel also contended that Mireyli will have lifelong medical issues and will require at least four hip replacement surgeries throughout her lifetime. Thus, plaintiffs’ counsel asked the jury to award Mireyli $714,964.74 in past medical costs, in excess of $1.4 million in future medical costs, $588,961 in future loss of earning capacity, and $17,251,457.26 in damages for her past and future pain and suffering. Meza waived her bystander negligence claim.
Superior Court of Riverside County, Riverside, CA

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