PSBR Obtains $13.1 Million Verdict for Family Rear-Ended by Semi-Trailer Truck

Posted on May 10, 2023

Panish | Shea | Ravipudi LLP attorneys David Rudorfer and Wyatt Vespermann obtained a $13,150,000 verdict for three family members who were rear-ended by a tractor trailer. The verdict was delivered by a Los Angeles County jury at the Van Nuys Courthouse East before the Honorable Graciela L. Freixes. Plaintiffs were also represented in the matter by co-counsel Jonathan E. Howell of Howell LLP.

Plaintiffs Delia Hernandez, Vincent Gonzalez, and Francisco Hernandez were driving on the I-10 freeway near the California-Arizona border when a semi-trailer truck owned by Geriq Logistics, LLC collided into the back of the family’s Ford F-150 at a high speed. Plaintiffs alleged that in the moments before the collision the semi-truck driver, Defendant James Martin, had engaged in distracted driving. Defendants disputed liability until trial, and even after admitting liability, contested that the forces of the collision were sufficient to cause the claimed injuries.

As a result of the collision, Mrs. Hernandez suffered the most severe injuries with a non-surgical tear-drop fracture in her neck, as well as suffering a mild traumatic brain injury. Mr. Gonzalez had a prior right knee tear that was exacerbated, in addition to other physical injuries. Their adult son also suffered soft tissue injuries and emotional distress. The whole family was traumatized from the collision and have continued to have persistent emotional distress since it occurred. Mrs. Hernandez’s injuries have seriously compromised the quality of her life.

Prior to and throughout trial, counsel for Defendants Geriq Logistics, LLC and James Martin sought to use the family’s pre-incident medical history to allege their injuries were unrelated to the collision. Defendant also pointed to the fact that Mrs. Hernandez returned to work as a registered nursing assistant shortly after the collision and continued to work up to and during trial. The jury disagreed and took just two days to deliberate before rendering their verdict in favor of Plaintiffs and awarding $13,150,000.

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