Case details

Sudden stop caused collision between other vehicles: plaintiff





Result type

Not present

anxiety, brain, brain injury, cognition, depression, head, headaches neck, hearing, impairment, mental, partial loss of, psychological, sensory, speech, traumatic brain injury, vertigo, vision
On July 23, 2008, at approximately 11:25 a.m., plaintiff Leon Daniels, 59, a field supervisor for Southern California Gas Co., was driving his work truck on the northbound on-ramp from the intersection at Highway 46 to Highway 101 in Atascadero when Daniels was rear-ended by a pickup truck operated by Ryan Scrivner. Daniels claimed to his head and neck. Daniels sued the diver of the pickup truck, Ryan Scrivner; the pickup truck’s owner, Doyle Scrivner; the company that employed the pickup’s driver, A-C&E Mechanical; and the driver of the vehicle ahead of Daniels on the on-ramp, Josephine Bridge. Daniels alleged that Ryan Scrivner and Josephine Bridge were negligent in the operation of their respective vehicles, and that Doyle Scrivner and A-C&E were vicariously liable for Ryan Scrivner’s actions. Prior to trial, Daniels reached a good faith settlement with the Scrivners and A-C&E for $1 million. The jury was not told of this settlement and counsel for the Scrivners and A-C&E actively participated at trial. Daniels claimed that that as all three vehicles drove along the on-ramp to merge onto the freeway, Bridge failed to accelerate to a proper merging speed and then suddenly came to a stop at the top of the ramp, instead of merging onto the freeway. Daniels claimed that as a result, he swerved his vehicle in order to avoid her and abruptly decelerated, which caused Ryan Scrivner to also decelerate. However, he claimed that Ryan Scrivner was unable to avoid striking his vehicle. Thus, Daniels claimed that Bridge was the primary cause of the accident. Bridge denied any and all responsibility for the accident., Daniels was taken from the scene of the accident by ambulance and brought to an emergency room. He claimed he wrenched his neck in the accident and sustained a traumatic brain injury from hitting his head on the back window. He was subsequently treated at the hospital and released the same day. Daniels claimed he now suffers from depression, cognitive disorders, narcolepsy, cataplexy, obstructive sleep apnea, significant vision problems, hearing difficulties, short-term memory loss, irritability, anxiety, mood disorders, vertigo, headaches, post-traumatic stress disorder, and nerve pain radiating into his neck and extremities. He also claimed that he has been on temporary disability through worker’s compensation since the accident and that he can never return to any type of work due to his condition. In addition, he claimed he requires a life care plan that includes extensive ongoing medical treatment of therapy and medication. Thus, Daniels sought recovery of damages, including $2.1 million for his future life care plan and medical costs, and $1.2 million in total lost earnings and benefits. According to defense counsel, Daniels sought recovery of $4 million in total economic damages and $16 million in total general damages. Daniels’ employer, Southern California Gas Co., entered the action as an intervenor in an attempt to recover over $558,000 in paid worker’s compensation benefits, which included the plaintiff’s out-of-pocket medical expenses. However, during trial, Southern California Gas Co. sold its worker’s compensation lien for $60,000 and notified the court and parties of the transfer of its lien rights to Bridge on Dec. 18, 2012. Counsel for Bridge argued that, as far as the plaintiff’s alleged symptoms and residual , Daniels was not seriously injured from the accident and presented a sub rosa video of Daniels.
Superior Court of San Luis Obispo County, San Luis Obispo, CA

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