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Illustrating Massive Injuries Sustained by Special-Needs Student Results in $28.5M Settlement

California’s Victor Elementary School District failed to provide “curb-to-curb transportation” to and from school for a special-needs student, resulting in a terrible pedestrian versus motor vehicle accident. Fabian Sanchez lived with an executive functioning disorder and was enlisted in an individualized education program, or IEP, for two years, receiving specialized instruction and transportation to accommodate his needs. However, when Fabian’s mother moved closer to his school, the staff decided it was no longer necessary to provide curb-to-curb transportation.

On the day of the accident, Fabian’s special education teacher walked him across the street and sent him home unsupervised. Fabian unexpectedly darted into traffic and was hit by a car, sustaining complex facial fractures, broken ribs, collapsed lungs, and above all, a severe traumatic brain injury that changed the course of his life forever. After three trailblazing attorneys joined forces and successfully proved the school was liable for Fabian under his IEP, the team focused on outlining the severity and extent of his damages at trial.

Fabian was taken to Loma Linda Medical Center and medically induced into a coma. Diagnostic imaging found fractures and lacerations covering his body. MRIs revealed hemorrhaging and swelling throughout his brain, causing memory loss, mood disorders, cognitive impairments, and more. Doctors stated Fabian would require round-the-clock care and rehabilitation forever.

After hearing about the tragic incident, Wilshire Law Firm’s Jon C. Teller collaborated with Panish Shea & Boyle’s Ian Samson and Rahul Ravipudi to attain justice for Fabian. Initially, the school offered no compensation for Fabian and denied all responsibility for the accident, forcing the three attorneys to take the case to trial. In preparation to present their case to a potential jury, Teller, Samson, and Ravipudi enlisted DK Global to animate and summarize Fabian’s overwhelming injuries.

The damages presentation began with a 3D character model of Fabian, visualizing the multitude of injuries he sustained. Mandible fractures, avulsed teeth, a broken left leg, and more encapsulated the immense pain and suffering he endured. Then, his medical imagery was enhanced and overlaid onto his likeness, allowing a jury of laypeople to understand the gravity of his brain bleed. Finally, Fabian’s 3D brain highlighted the afflicted areas and coinciding deficits he would suffer from forever.

Once presented with the visuals, even the Defense’s medical expert authenticated the presentation’s content. In a bifurcated bench trial determining liability, the judge found the school district 100% responsible for the accident. Before the damages phase of trial, the three attorneys championed Fabian at mediation and attained a $28.5M settlement, an amount to aid in his lifetime of recovery. 

Rahul Ravipudi is a Partner at Panish Shea & Boyle LLP and has spent his legal career handling catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases. Ravipudi has been named “2020 Plaintiff’s Lawyer Trailblazer” by the National Law Journal and has continuously been recognized among the “Best Lawyers” by Super Lawyers since 2013.

Ian Samson has successfully secured multi-million-dollar awards for his clients and was recognized as a "Rising Star" by Super Lawyers. Since 2017, Samson has focused on advocating for those catastrophically injured or who have lost loved ones, using his experience litigating complex class action lawsuits to assist in his clients’ outcomes.

Jon C. Teller is a partner at Wilshire Law Firm, PLC, advocating for the survivors of catastrophic injuries and sexual misconduct. In 2020, he was recognized as the “Consumer Attorney of the Year” by the Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC) and consecutively named “Top 40 under 40” by The National Trial Lawyers. Additionally, as a Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum member, Jon has produced over $60 million for his deserving clients.

"DK Global was instrumental in helping us out, describing the traumatic effect this collision injury had on our client. To describe a traumatic brain injury verbally is really not enough these days."
Jon C. Teller - Wilshire Law Firm
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