Drunk Driver Held Accountable After Leaving Injured Passenger To Die In Fire
February 2015 – Sacramento County – $2,474,854.94
After two years of litigation AMCO and Truck Insurance Exchange agreed to meet our demand and pay $2,474,854.94 to settle Brynne Arakelian’s personal injury case arising out of a horrific single car crash that occurred on Old Auburn Road in Placer County. On July 19, 2012, 23 year old Brynne Arakelian was riding as a passenger in Defendant’s vehicle when he decided to show off and reach a speed of nearly 100 miles per hour while traveling down Old Auburn Road. Due to his speed and state of intoxication he lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a power pole which resulted in a grass fire being ignited around his car. The impact was on the passenger side where Ms. Arakelian was seated causing her to be trapped in the car. Defendant fearing arrest for DUI fled the scene leaving Ms. Arakelian trapped in the vehicle which was about to be engulfed in flames. Fortunately several people from the nearby homes came to her aid and rescued her from the fire. Ultimately Defendant was arrested by the CHP after a several hour man hunt. Several months later Defendant pleaded Nolo Contendere to violations of Vehicle Code § 23153(a) (driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs causing injury, a serious felony pursuant to §1192.7(c)(8) of the Penal Code) and Vehicle Code § 20001(a) (leaving the scene of an accident, a felony). The Defendant also admitted a special allegation within the meaning of Penal Code § 12022.7(a) (personal infliction of great bodily harm).
Attorney Joseph Babich represented Ms. Arakelian in the civil lawsuit against Defendant that was filed in Sacramento County Superior Court. Ms. Arakelian sustained multiple fractures to her right leg, hip and back as well as a head injury. The insurance company for Defendant hired their own doctors in an attempt to minimize Ms. Arakelian’s injuries but with the support of the treating physicians and Mr. Babich’s representation AMCO and Truck Insurance Exchange agreed to meet Mr. Babich’s demand and pay $2,474,854.94 to settle the civil case.