A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge ordered $23,720,966 in total damages paid to a motorcyclist represented by P. Ryan Banafshe of Banafshe Law Firm, PC.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Los Angeles, CA, March 24, 2021 – California personal injury law firm Banafshe Law Firm, PC, has announced that they represented a Southern California couple in a motorcycle accident case that resulted in a $23,720,966 bench award. The plaintiff, Steve Rojas, was 40 years old at the time of the accident and suffered catastrophic injuries, including an amputation of his lower leg, following a motorcycle vs. truck accident.
“It was a privilege to represent Mr. and Mrs. Rojas and their family and to be part of this great team of attorneys who brought justice for them. Sadly, Mr. Rojas’s injury will affect him for the remaining years of his life. This award will provide him access to the finances and medical care he needs for him and his family to live the best life they can despite his injury,” said plaintiffs’ attorney P. Ryan Banafshe.
Mr. Rojas was represented in the case and at trial by Brian Panish, Tom Schultz, John Shaller, Matthew Stumpf, and James Trotter of Panish Shea & Boyle LLP and P. Ryan Banafshe of Banafshe Law Firm, PC.
In December of 2017, Mr. Rojas was operating his motorcycle southbound in the left turn pocket lane of Coldwater Canyon toward Ventura Boulevard and Coldwater Canyon. Mr. Rojas had the right of way and proceeded straight on Coldwater Canyon through the uncontrolled T-intersection at Valleyheart Drive. Simultaneously, the Defendant, Mr. Henderson, who had been waiting at a complete stop facing a stop sign in his Hajoca Corporation company vehicle, made a left turn onto northbound Coldwater Canyon. The Dodge Ram entered Mr. Roja’s lane, striking his motorcycle and his right leg.
Mr. Rojas was immediately rushed by ambulance to Cedars-Sinai Hospital. Despite undergoing multiple surgeries attempting to save his right lower limb, at the recommendation of his orthopedic surgeons at Cedars-Sinai Hospital and Huntington Memorial Hospital, Mr. Rojas underwent a below-the-knee amputation of his right leg.
Before the nine-day bench trial, the defendants only admitted partial liability and proposed an award of less than $5 million. The defense unsuccessfully argued that Mr. Rojas should be 50% responsible despite having the right of way. Ultimately, Judge Czuleger found the defendants 100% liable and awarded nearly $24 million.
The court’s verdict included $18,000,000 in general damages (primarily past and future pain and suffering) and $4,520,996 in economic damages (primarily past and future medical expenses and lost earnings.) Mrs. Rojas received an additional $1.2 million for loss of consortium to compensate her for her damages.
“Mr. and Mrs. Rojas placed their trust in us, and I am proud that we were able to fulfill all of the promises we made. We are especially thankful to Los Angeles Superior Court Judge J. Stephen Czuleger for his patience and willingness to proceed to trial, and to the court and its staff for taking every precaution necessary so that the Rojas’ case could safely move forward during this pandemic,” said Mr. Banafshe.
The trial was the first case to involve a live civil trial held in the Los Angeles County Superior Court since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Case No. BC68970, Superior Court of the State of California, County of Los Angeles – Central District).
About P. Ryan Banafshe
This recent case is Mr. Banafshe’s ninth case, resulting in an award of $1 million or greater. P. Ryan Banafshe focuses his practice on personal injury and wrongful death cases involving motorcycle accidents, car accidents, truck accidents, slip & falls, and other traumatic events. He founded Banafshe Law Firm, P.C. in 2002 to provide client-focused and results-oriented legal services to accident victims and families through the State of California.
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