On October 21, 2009, defendant George Popovich was in the course and scope of his employment with Hemi Express, Inc. Mr. Popovich got lost on southbound 101 just north of Monterey, California. Defendant Popovich pulled onto a small frontage road, turned around, and then came to a stop at the stop sign with U.S. 101. It was dark and defendant had a clear line of sight for a mile down the highway. Despite having a clear line of sight for oncoming traffic, defendant Popovich pulled out in front of plaintiff Benny Tomasetti who was traveling northbound on U.S. 101 driving a 1972 tractor-trailer. Mr. Tomasetti could not avoid the impact and struck the back axle of on the driver's side of the tractor. The impact was significant causing Mr. Tomasetti's head to go through the front windshield striking defendant Popovich's trailer.
He was briefly unconscious and was confused for a week following the collision. In the collision, Mr. Tomasetti suffered a significant fracture dislocation of his right hip. The acetabulum was fractured in such a fashion that surgical repair was required but difficult due to the significant nature of the injury. Mr. Tomasetti went on to have five hip surgeries. In addition to his severe hip injury, Mr. Tomasetti suffered a lumbar plexus injury resulting in drop foot. He requires an AFO to walk.
Benny Tomasetti had in excess of $400,000 in medical bills. His future medical bills were expected to be between $500,000 and $600,000. Mr. Tomasetti also had a past wage loss of $160,000 with an expected future wage loss of $200,000. Defendant's paid $5.5 million on the Sunday before trial.