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$3.1M Combined Settlement for City Bus and Big Rig Crash

Common carriers have a heightened duty to use the utmost care when transporting passengers. Unfortunately, a bus driver employed by the City of Madera failed to hold herself to this standard when she performed a rolling stop at a suburban intersection. As she entered the T-junction, an 18-wheeler to her left blew through the stop sign and struck the bus at 40 miles per hour. The bus overturned and threw the passengers onto its right side in a maelstrom of debris and broken glass. One woman riding the bus suffered a gruesome head laceration, multiple fractures, and a traumatic brain injury.

The injured woman contacted David Rudorfer of Panish | Shea | Boyle | Ravipudi LLP and Dennis Grossman of the Grossman Law Office. Filing suit, David and Dennis subpoenaed the collision reports and the surveillance footage from the bus’s interior. After reviewing the video, it was clear the trucking company was the most culpable for the accident. As a result, David and Dennis submitted a demand for the company’s entire $1,000,000 coverage policy. The total policy limit amount was quickly tendered.

Still, while most law firms would have stopped there, David and Dennis waited and examined the video more thoroughly. They realized that the bus driver never came to a complete stop. Had the driver waited only one more second, the crash would have been avoided. Thus, the two attorneys strategized on holding the City of Madera accountable too.

With mediation between all three parties approaching, David and Dennis looked to maximize their available recovery. First, they retained a team of experts to testify and support their findings, including an accident reconstructionist, a biomechanical engineer, and a human-factors specialist. Then, they collaborated with DK Global to illustrate their client’s mechanism of injury and damages.

The animation began with the surveillance video from inside the bus. Terrified, the passengers braced for impact as the big rig barreled toward them. The windows exploded, and the woman was hurled onto the vehicle's side, her head covered in blood. Next, the animation showed the woman’s coup-contrecoup injury. To explain the gravity of her brain damage, each afflicted lobe was highlighted with a list of her corresponding deficits: vertigo, anxiety, depression, memory lapses, and much, much more. Finally, an overview of her fractures was shown alongside her medical imagery.

David and Dennis were ready to show their cards at mediation. The City of Madera disputed liability for the accident. Then, the duo shared the video, asserting a jury would also apportion the city a percentage of fault if they proceeded with a trial. After seeing the visual and the severity of the woman’s damages, the city offered to settle the matter for $2,100,000. Altogether, David and Dennis obtained a combined resolution of $3,100,000.

David Rudorfer of Panish | Shea | Boyle | Ravipudi LLP specializes in handling catastrophic injury and sexual abuse matters. In 2018, David was nominated by his peers for CAALA’s “Trial Lawyer of the Year.” Over his career, David has recovered more than $400,000,000 for his clients, resolving dozens of individual multimillion-dollar cases.

Dennis Grossman of the Grossman Law Offices is a member of the prestigious Million Dollar Advocates Forum for his proven track record in representing thousands of personal injury survivors. Before joining his father’s Fresno personal injury practice, Dennis was a Wall Street corporate tax lawyer and senior manager at two prestigious New York law firms.

"Without the help of DK Global, we wouldn't have been able to get this result."
David Rudorfer – Panish | Shea | Boyle | Ravipudi LLP
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