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$8,000,000 Auto Versus State / Dangerous Public Property

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$8,000,000

In March, 2014 Attorney Arash Homampour settled an Auto versus State / Dangerous Public Property case for $8 million against the Defendant.

Incident

On Wednesday, June 5, 2013 at approximately 3:20 a.m., Plaintiff, an accountant, was driving home from work and traveling on the Venice on-ramp to get onto the I-10 eastbound Santa Monica Freeway. Plaintiff's vehicle veered to the right for reasons unknown and went down a steep embankment where Plaintiff hit a tree and sustained life altering injuries.

Plaintiff had no recollection of the events. Plaintiff was cited by the investigating officer as the sole cause of the incident. Plaintiff subsequently made a workers compensation claim and filed a lawsuit against the State of California for a dangerous condition of public property. The workers compensation carrier then filed a complaint in intervention and sought reimbursement of its lien and credit rights if Plaintiff recovered anything in this third party action.

Plaintiff

Plaintiff contended that a guardrail should have been present given the slope of the embankment, the drop height of over 20 feet and the lack of 30 feet recovery zone. As to any claimed budgetary constraints, Plaintiff contended that Defendant State could have implemented temporary measures through the Maintenance Department without having to wait for funding.

Defendant

Defendant State contended that the subject location did not require guardrails, that the property was not in a dangerous condition when used with due care and that it had budgetary constraints. Defendant State contended that Plaintiff was exclusively (or comparatively) responsible for the incident as she drove when she was sleep deprived and that she fell asleep. Defendant State also contended that Plaintiff's employer was responsible for allowing her to drive knowing she was sleep deprived.

Result

The Homampour team were able to secure $8 million for the Plaintiff in the civil case. Plaintiff also recovered an additional $10 million in workers compensation benefits. Plaintiff's employer waived its right to seek a credit for the recovery by Plaintiff in this civil case, it received $1.5 million as reimbursement of its lien claim and it paid the approximate $10 million to resolve the workers compensation claim.

Image Credit: Unsplash


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