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Evan GarciaPrzemek Lubecki

Evan Garcia · Przemek Lubecki

Harvesting Opportunities: Streamlining Case Issues and Cultivating Defense Overreach

TLU Icon February 29, 2024 6:30 PM||TLU n Demand

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Just before Christmas of 2018, Ms. Flores was walking from Union Station in downtown Los Angeles, to a nearby parking lot to catch a Lyft home. It was late, she was by herself, and had her luggage in tow. As she was crossing Alameda, in the crosswalk with the walk signal, she is struck by a 60 ft. articulating bus. The incident is partially captured by the on-board security cameras, but otherwise there are no other witnesses. She calls 911, police eventually respond, along with Officials from LA Metro. She reports to the ER the next morning complaining of pain everywhere. Over the next several years she fails conservative care and ultimately undergoes an artificial disc replacement at c5/C6. She also complains of mTBI symptoms and underwent psychiatric treatment as well as neuropsychologist testing. Before trial we stipulated to reasonable value past and future medical expenses halfway between our two experts. We also decided to waive the mTBI claim.

The case dealt with the following issues:

  1. Liability was hotly contested. The defense argued that not only did the bus driver do nothing wrong, but that Ms. Flores either 1) wasn’t actually hit by the bus, 2) if she was, she was outside the crosswalk, and 3) either way, Ms. Flores unreasonably left a position of safety and was therefore comparatively negligent.
  2. There were no witnesses to the incident. It was essentially the bus-drivers word vs. Ms. Flores, but they had the additional advantage of the security camera footage, and various experts to essentially say how could Ms. Flores not see and react to a slow moving, very loud, 60 foot bus.
  3. To attack the extent of my client’s injuries and her “true” motives Defense pointed to 1) two 911 recordings where she indicated that she was going to sue, 2) 28 minutes of police body cam footage of Ms. Flores “chit chatting” with the police officers, and then months to years later the fact that she failed “performance validity measures” in multiple Neuropsychiatric testing.
  4. While we believed that the crash had a tremendous impact on her ability to life her the way she wanted to, and building out general damages was tough. Ms. Flores was in her late 50s, unmarried and without children. She also worked a job where she could keep to herself. We ended up not calling any damage witnesses and instead relied on both the plaintiff and defense retained psychiatric experts to drive general damages.

Flores v. Los Angeles Metropolitan Authority, Muniz, et al.

Past Meds: 245,000

Future Meds: 469,000

Past Non-Econ: 700,000

Future Non-Econ: 1,680,000

Total: 3,094,000

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