Tucker v. Mejia Verdict (Additional Information)

At the beginning of August we blogged about our very own Shaana A. Rahman’s succesful case Tucker v. Mejia. We are very proud of Shaana’s amazing work and look forward to many more successful  resolutions. For those of you interested in more details in the Tucker v Mejia case, VerdictSearch has uploaded the case summary.

Facts:

On Aug. 17, 2008, plaintiff Joseph Tucker, 29, a Wells Fargo Treasury Associate, was riding a fixed gear bicycle east on the left hand side of Eddy Street. At around 9:02 a.m., when he was approximately 42 feet from the intersection with Mason Street in San Francisco, Tucker was struck by a white shuttle van operated by an independent contractor. Tucker claimed the side of the van crashed into him, causing him to be ejected from his bike. He subsequently landed on his face and sustained injuries.

The white shuttle van never stopped and left the scene. As a result, a witness chased the van and although it was identified as a van owned by Lorrie’s Travel & Tours Inc., there was never any positive identification of the driver or the van number.

Tucker sued the believed driver of the van, Rufino Mejia; another possible driver of the van, Edgar Abecendario; and the owner of the van, Lorrie’s Travel & Tours Inc. Tucker alleged that Mejia and/or Abecendario were negligent in the operation of the van and that Lorrie’s was vicariously liable for their actions.

Lorrie’s subsequently filed a cross-complaint against its drivers, seeing indemnification.

Through the use of Lorrie’s internal documents relating to its drivers, plaintiff’s counsel identified four of the 15 Lorrie’s drivers who were in the Union Square area at the time of the collision. Counsel contended that further investigation pointed to Mejia as being the only driver on Eddy Street at the time of the collision. Plaintiff’s counsel noted that Mejia originally denied being involved in the collision, although admitted to being on Eddy Street approximately 10 minutes after the collision, when he was briefly stopped by the police. An internal investigation by Lorrie’s also led to the identification of four drivers possibly involved, but Lorrie’s never disciplined Mejia or concluded that he was the driver.

Prior to trial, Abecendario was dismissed from both Tucker’s case and the cross-complaint. Lorrie’s also settled with Tucker for $250,000 prior to trial. Thus, Tucker’s action proceeded to trial against Mejia only, and the cross-complaint against Mejia was bifurcated and has not yet been resolved.

At trial, Tucker claimed he was riding his bicycle in the left, eastbound lane when Mejia began making a lane change from the right lane into his lane of travel, causing the van to sideswipe him. He alleged that Mejia never stopped his van and left the scene.

Mejia claimed at trial that there was no contact between the van and Tucker. He also claimed that Tucker veered from the left lane into his lane in order to make a right turn, and that the plaintiff admitted fault for the collision to the investigating officers. The defense’s accident reconstruction/biomechanical expert opined that it was likely that Tucker over-braked, as the plaintiff was on a fixed gear bicycle with a single break, and pitched himself over the handlebars.

Verdict:

The jury found that Mejia was the driver involved in the accident. It also found that Mejia was negligent and that his negligence caused Tucker harm. The jury found no comparative fault against Tucker and awarded him $593,172.67 in total damages.

Joseph Tucker

$152,773 Personal Injury: Past Medical Cost

$235,200 Personal Injury: Future Medical Cost

$5,200 Personal Injury: Past Lost Earnings Capability

$150,000 Personal Injury: Past Pain And Suffering

$50,000 Personal Injury: Future Pain And Suffering

 

Source:

For the complete case report, visit the following link,

http://www.verdictsearch.com/index.jsp?do=news&rep=recent&art=208393

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