Fog and negligence involved in tractor trailer crash. $5.3M. Kings County.


Two tractor trailers collide as one makes left turn across traffic in foggy conditions.

The Case

  • Case Name: Garcia v. Freitas, et al.
  • Court and Case Number: Kings County Superior Court / 19C0358
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Monday, December 20, 2021
  • Date Action was Filed: Friday, October 11, 2019
  • Type of Case: Negligence, Vehicles - Tractor Trailers
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Kathy Ciuffini
  • Plaintiffs:
    Jose Guadalupe Diaz Garcia, 67
  • Defendants:
    Ryan Christopher Freitas
    Shannon Bros. Co.
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: $5,367,996
  • Award as to each Defendant:

    10% defendant Ryan Freitas; 90% defendant Shannon Bros. Co.

  • Contributory/Comparative Negligence: None.
  • Economic Damages:


  • Non-Economic Damages:


  • Trial or Arbitration Time: 10 days
  • Jury Deliberation Time: 1 day

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:

    BD&J, PC by Shawn McCann and Lauren Horwitz, Beverly Hills.

  • Attorney for the Defendant:

    Borton Petrini, LLP by Maurice S. Kane, Redlands.

The Experts

  • Plaintiff’s Medical Expert(s):

    Plaintiff's treating physicians.

    Dawn Cook,RN, medical billing and life care planning.

  • Defendant's Medical Expert(s):

    Michael Klassen, M.D., orthopedic surgery.

    Miranda Van Horn, RN, BSN, CLCP, medical billing.

  • Plaintiff's Technical Expert(s):

    Al Lowi, accident reconstruction.

    V. Paul Herbert, trucking industry standards.

  • Defendant's Technical Expert(s):

    Kenneth Solomon, human factors and biomechanics.

    Wei Chao, accident reconstruction.

    Bob Malek, demonstratives.

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    Plaintiff was driving a tractor hauling two trailers. He was attempting to use a median left-turn lane from State Route 198 onto 2nd Avenue in Kings County to turn across multiple lanes of oncoming traffic. It was extremely foggy at the intersection and he turned after seeing several cars pass.

    An oncoming tractor trailer hit plaintiff’s second trailer. Plaintiff’s accident reconstructionist testified that the speed at impact was 35 miles per hour. Plaintiff’s tractor was drivable after the collision.

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    That defendant driver was negligent in operating the tractor trailer, which caused harm to plaintiff.

    That defendant driver’s employer, Shannon Bros. Co., negligently hired, retained, and employed the driver. That the employer ignored several violations in the defendant driver’s record, and failed to give the defendant driver any training whatsoever about operating the tractor trailer.


  • Defendant's Contentions:

    The employer defendant denied that they were responsible for training the defendant driver.

    Defendant driver denied he was negligent in operating the vehicle.

Injuries and Other Damages

  • Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:

    Plaintiff suffered injury to his spine. He required chiropractic care, physical therapy, one epidural, a cervical fusion, and a trial placement of a spinal cord stimulator.

  • Plaintiff also claimed he suffered emotional distress and lost wages as a result of the collision.

Special Damages

  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Medical: $187,936
  • Special Damages Claimed - Future Medical: $1,620,060
  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Lost Earnings: $80,000
  • Special Damages Claimed - Future Lost Earnings: $80,000

Demands and Offers

  • Plaintiff Final Demand before Trial: $2,250,000
  • Defendant Final Offer before Trial: $1,500,000