Robert W. Johnson & Associates were retained to quantify the present cash value of lost earning capacity and future medical expenses.
Location: Bakersfield, California
Case: Landeros v. Torres, Gustavo D., et al.
Court: Superior Court of Kern County, Bakersfield, CA, No. S-1500-CV-261305--SPC
Plaintiff’s Attorneys: Daniel Rodriguez of Rodriguez & Associates; Nicholas Rowley of Carpenter, Zuckerman & Rowley; and Alejandro Blanco of Blanco Law Firm
Judge: The Honorable Sidney P. Chapin
Case Synopsis: On June 14, 2007, plaintiff Rocio Landeros, 15, a student; her sister, plaintiff Marta Perez, 25, a rehabilitation aide; and a friend Jeanette Beltran, were in a vehicle at an intersection in rural Kern County south of Bakersfield, California, when they were struck by a vehicle operated by Gustavo Davalos Torres, a worker for Palla Rosa Farms.
Torres was found to have a blood alcohol level as high as 0.16. He was driving his work pickup back to the company yard when he ran a stop sign, striking the plaintiffs.
Rocio and Perez sued Torres and Palla Rosa Farms, alleging that Torres was negligent in the operation of a motor vehicle and that Palla Rosa was vicariously liable for his actions. They also had a cause of action for punitive damages against Torres based on his driving while intoxicated.
During mediation, Beltran settled for $1 million. Before trial, Palla Rosa Farms settled for $5 million with Landeros and Perez.
Landeros sustained a severe brain injury and a badly fractured left arm that required open reduction, internal fixation with hardware implantation. She was comatose for a month with bleeding to the frontal and parietal lobes, and was also diagnosed with a diffuse axonal injury. She was hospitalized for a total of 15 months, including nine months at a brain injury rehabilitation center.
Landeros was able to return to high school, though several of her classes were special education classes. The brain injuries affected her ability to have normal function of the left side of her body, which resulted in limited use of her left hand and a dropped left foot. The brain injuries also affected her vision and her cognitive abilities, leaving her with impaired memory and judgment. She also suffered a personality change.