A Santa Monica jury awarded a 21 year old Spanish speaking dishwasher a $275,000 award as a result of being struck on his bike by a pickup truck driven by a retired engineer in Hawthorne California. The jury found that the defendant was 75% at fault for the accident for his failure to properly confirm that he could safely turn right on a red light at this intersection where obstructions partially blocked his view of the direction from which the bike rider was traveling. The jury made this finding despite the fact that the plaintiff was riding his bike on a sidewalk going against traffic on the wrong side of the street and came off the curb outside of the cross walk and against a flashing red “DON’T WALK” sign just before being struck by the defendant’s truck. The plaintiff admitted some fault for the accident, yet the defendant continued his refusal to accept any responsibility or fault for the accident all the way through the trial. The plaintiff sustained a fractured leg requiring surgery at a total cost of $93,000 and which will require a second surgery to remove the hardware in his leg. The defense insurance company, Farmers, sought fit to offer only $6500 to settle this claim while the plaintiff demanded only a fraction of the verdict to settle the case before trial. The plaintiff was represented by Seema Bhatt of the Los Angeles based personal injury firm Lederer & Nojima, LLP.
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