Disputed liability in left-turn crash. $34K. Los Angeles County.


Personal injury action when both vehicles are declared to be total losses after crash at intersection.

The Case

  • Case Name: Foster v. Romero
  • Court and Case Number: Los Angeles Superior Court / 20STCV04900
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Wednesday, December 08, 2021
  • Date Action was Filed: Thursday, February 06, 2020
  • Type of Case: Vehicles - Left Turn
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Randolph M. Hammock
  • Plaintiffs:
    Mariah Foster
  • Defendants:
    Daisy Romero
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: $34,282.84
  • Contributory/Comparative Negligence: 100% liability on defendant
  • Economic Damages:

    Past medical: $2,763

    Future medical: $900

    Past lost income: $5,400

  • Non-Economic Damages:

    $5,000 award modified by the court on a motion for additur. The jury gave $0 for pain and suffering.

  • Trial or Arbitration Time: 6 days
  • Jury Polls: 12-0

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:

    Sailer Law Firm, APC by AJ Kotanjian, Whittier.

  • Attorney for the Defendant:

    Chavez Legal Group by Joseph Kang, La Mirada.

The Experts

  • Plaintiff’s Medical Expert(s):

    Stephen Smith, DC. (Treating chiropractor.)

  • Defendant's Medical Expert(s):

    None presented at trial.

  • Plaintiff's Technical Expert(s):

    Mallie Donohoe, accident reconstruction.

  • Defendant's Technical Expert(s):

    Bryan Randles, biomechanics.

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    The subject collision occurred in the City of Whittier, at Mills Avenue and Lambert Road.

    This case involved disputed liability. Plaintiff was traveling southbound on Mills Ave. when defendant attempted to make a left turn from northbound Mills Ave. onto westbound Lambert Rd. 

    Plaintiff was traveling straight through the intersection on what she claimed was a yellow light. Defendant made a left turn directly in front of plaintiff.  

    Both vehicles were declared a total loss as they were both folded up like accordions. 

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    Plaintiff claimed she was traveling on a yellow light; that defendant violated her right-of-way and was responsible for this collision.

    Plaintiff was 26 years old at the time and was employed as a restaurant waitress. Plaintiff claimed she was unable to work for a period of two months as a waitress because of her injuries. 

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    Defendant claimed plaintiff caused the collision. Defendant claimed that she only began turning left when the light turned red.

Injuries and Other Damages

  • Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:

    Plaintiff's claimed injuries were soft tissue back and neck, along with right elbow lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow). Plaintiff underwent no surgeries,only chiropractic care. No MRI of plaintiff's elbow was taken. Photographs were presented to the jury showing bad bruising all over plaintiff’s body. 

Demands and Offers

  • Plaintiff §998 Demand: Jan 2021: $15,000

Additional Notes

Defendant's insurer: Fred Loya

Per plaintiff's counsel: Defendant was unable to keep story straight during examination, but stuck to story that she only began turning when the light turned red.