Plaintiff in this case was a ten-year-old boy who was hit by a car when crossing the street just outside of a crosswalk near his private school. As a result of the impact, the plaintiff received a mild traumatic brain injury. The driver of the car had only a $100,000 insurance policy which it paid at the beginning of the case.
The school and the city denied responsibility for the accident, stating that the plaintiff was outside of the crosswalk and that he had darted out in front of the car so that the car did not have an opportunity to stop.
The law offices of Winer, McKenna & Burritt, LLP, through investigation and discovery, learned that there was supposed to be a crossing guard on duty at the time of the accident; however, the crossing guard was not present due to bureaucratic mismanagement. The law firm, through expert testimony, was able to take the position that a crossing guard would have prevented this accident from occurring and that plaintiff was crossing the street slowly enough so that the driver of the car would have had an opportunity to prevent the accident if she had been paying attention.
The defendant hired a physicist who testified that if the plaintiff was walking at a normal speed of three miles per hour, the car driver would have had plenty of time to see the plaintiff and avoided the accident. Thus, the driver and the plaintiff were the sole cause of the accident. The law firm hired a kinesiologist at UCLA, conducted studies which indicated that a ten-year-old child will walk four miles an hour if unattended at a crosswalk, which would not have given the car driver time to prevent the collision and the only thing which would have prevented the collision was a crossing guard.
The defense next claimed that the plaintiff did not have any residuals from his head injury. The law offices of Winer, McKenna & Burritt, LLP, by hiring a kinesiologist, physiatrist and neuropsychologist, were able to establish that in fact the plaintiff was suffering from a mild traumatic brain injury which would affect his ability to complete school and compete effectively in certain segments of the job market. This case settled in the early 80s when interest rates were high and the law firm was able to arrange a structured settlement with lifetime payouts of over $1 million for the plaintiff.
RESULT: Settlement for the plaintiff $350,000 present value