Motorcyclist's lawyers win case against negligent driver and mechanic who installed faulty brakes in Los Angeles, California
Accident Type:Motorcycle Accident
Incident Date:Monday, October 1, 1990
Result Date:Sunday, January 1, 1995
Mr. Baeza, a 25-year-old carpenter, was driving his motorcycle through an intersection where he had right-of-way when a pickup truck driven by Mr. Ortiz drove through his stop sign, striking Mr. Baeza's motorcycle. As a result of the accident, Mr. Baeza suffered multiple skull and facial fractures, resulting in brain damage and personality disorder, loss of the sense of smell, and loss of vision in the right eye; fractures of both forearms, resulting in limited motion to both wrists; and an injury to the testicles. Due to his severe injuries, Mr. Baeza and his lawyers decided to sue both Mr. Ortiz, and the company that had changed his motorcycle's rear tire and brake pads three days before the incident, USS Enterprises. He argued that Mr. Ortiz had neglected his right-of-way when he drove through the stop sign into his lane. Mr. Ortiz had no insurance and was dismissed from the trial. USS Enterprises and their attorneys admitted that the rear break was not working at the time of the accident, however they argued that Mr. Baeza was speeding and would not have been able to avoid the pickup even if the rear breaks had been working. In the end, Mr. Baeza and his lawyers had won their case, winning an award of $929,000. He was found, however, to be 35% negligent, and Mr. Ortiz, who was dismissed from the trial was found to be 60% negligent, and USS Enterprises was found 5% negligent. Therefore the total award was reduced to $154,000.