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Los Angeles Personal Injury Firm, Panish Shea & Boyle LLP, Secure a Judgment Totaling $7.3 Million for Santa Clarita Car Accident Victim

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On Monday a Los Angeles County jury awarded $6,126,000 to Chung Wu Hsu, a 62-year-old woman who sustained traumatic injuries after her automobile collided with a commercial box truck. The truck driver was found to have run a red light upon falling asleep behind the wheel. The accident victim was represented by Kevin Boyle, Andrew Owen, and Matthew Stumpf of Panish Shea & Boyle LLP. The defendant, Moises Roberto Martinez Diaz, was represented by Scott L. Macdonald, Erin M. Davis, and Michael Cody of Macdonald & Cody, LLP, based in Irvine, California. 

Said accident occurred in the early morning hours of July 5, 2017. As a result of the collision, Ms. Hsu suffered critical and permanent injuries ranging from trauma to her cervical spine to multiple rib fractures. Hsu also sustained a traumatic brain injury. 

Martinez, the defendant, was operating as an employee of R & P Food Processing, Inc. at the time of the accident. He openly admitted to being “half asleep” to the investigating officer, leading to him effectively running the red light. Police cited Martinez for the red light violation at the time of the accident, to which he eventually paid a fine without disputing or appealing the conviction under California Vehicle Code 21453(a).

Both defendants, R & P Food Processing, Inc. and Moises Roberto Martinez Diaz, denied liability and instituted an aggressive defense over several years against Ms. Hsu’s claim for damages. Six months following the accident, Hsu’s legal representatives made what was considered to be an appropriate settlement demand, considering the extent of the injuries. They cited extreme damages which conspicuously exceeded the defendants’ $1 million insurance policy limits. In what many personal injury attorneys might consider to be a surprising response to said offer, the defendants’ insurance company denied the demand. In fact, the defendants’ legal team consistently denied liability over the course of the following years. However, their course of action changed on the eve of trial, at which time an admission that defendant Martinez was the sole cause of the collision was made. 

The trial lasted 15 days. After two days of deliberation, the jury delivered a verdict in favor of the plaintiff with the following judgment breakdown: 

  • $6,126,000, which included $275,000 for past economic damages 
  • $851,000 for future economic damages
  • $1,000,000 in past non-economic damages
  • $4,000,000 in future non-economic damages. 

Due to the defendants’ failure to accept the plaintiff’s December of 2017 offer to compromise at a figure of $1,000,000, the verdict was therefore subject to prejudgment interest at a rate of ten percent per year. In total, factoring in the interest, fees, and costs, the total result in favor of accident victim, Hsu, will exceed $7.3 million. 

Following the verdict, attorney, Kevin Boyle, released the following statement:

“Ms. Hsu’s life is forever changed as a result of this horrific collision. The jury’s verdict will enable her to get the continued medical treatment she needs and to live her best life possible despite her devastating injuries. We are honored to have represented her in this case.”

Panish Shea & Boyle LLP are based in Los Angeles and are well-known for representing plaintiffs in catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death, product liability, mass tort, and business litigation cases.