On the afternoon of March 5, 2010, a Sacramento jury returned a $24.3 million verdict for Diana Jimenez, an Oregon resident, who will turn 15 next month. $20 million of the verdict was for Diana’s past and future pain and suffering.
At age 9, Diana was run over by the semi-tires of a truck and suffered pelvic degloving injuries, as well as orthopedic injuries. “Although she now ‘appears’ normal and returned to school five months after her accident, she will live a life of musculoskeletal weakening that will be progressive in nature, and will endure a lifetime of surgeries and limitations,” says attorney Robert Buccola.
According to attorney Steven Campora, “Diana is lucky to have such wonderful family support, but her worst days seem to be unfortunately in front of her.” Attorney Buccola stressed reality in his final damage argument.
Liability was bifurcated at the request of the defendant, Freeway Transport, after the plaintiff prevailed on the liability phase of the case in mid-December of last year. “We established that Freeway Transport either acted illegally as a trucking broker for this haul, or was acting as a common carrier and was liable for the safety violations of its driver,” said attorney Campora.
The damage phase of the case went to trial in mid-February of this year. Freeway Transport, in five years, made no settlement offers until the week before the damage phase trial when it offered $2 million. Just before opening statements, Freeway offered $5 million, which was increased to $6 million after opening statements. A week and a half into the trial, the defendant offered $10 million to counter the plaintiff’s $24 million demand.
With this verdict, Diana can get the highly specialized medical care she badly needs, echoed by both Buccola and Campora. It was a good day for a deserving young girl.