SETTLEMENT : Pedestrian struck by bus while crossing street
On November 4, 1996, a 40-year-old homemaker was crossing the street when she was struck by the defendant’s bus. Both the front and rear wheels of the bus crushed the defendant, causing her to sustain a displaced Colles’ fracture of the left wrist, a complex tibial plateau fracture of the left knee, a complex comminuted fracture of the left leg, a fracture of the pubic rami, bilateral pelvic fractures, and a fracture of the right femur.
While the bus driver denied that the plaintiff was in the crosswalk, the owner of the bus conceded driver negligence caused the incident for purposes of the settlement. The defendant did argue for the plaintiff’s comparative negligence for her failure to see the bus given that she had a previous crosswalk injury two years before.
On behalf of the plaintiff, attorney Lawrence R. Booth and associate J. Shaffer Smith made a demand for $5 million and another demand of $500,000 for her husband for loss of consortium. Loss of consortium is a claim for those damages suffered by a spouse or family member of an individual injured or killed as a resultant of the defendant’s negligent or otherwise wrongful acts.
Los Angeles Central court set the trial date for October 29, 1997 but the plaintiff and defendant settled the case out of court before the scheduled trial. On August 18, 1997, a settlement conference was held with Justice Jack K. Trotter acting as mediator. The two parties agreed to a settlement of $3.5 million for the plaintiff and $300,000 for the plaintiff’s husband.