$1.6 million verdict to conference attendee injured when vehicle jumps curb at hotel. Orange County.


Hotel guest sitting on bench is pinned against wall when driver, attempting to park, jumps curb. Hotel found 25% liable for failing to provide a barrier. Leg and hip joint fractures.

The Case

  • Case Name: Khuong Nguyen v. Peninsula Hotel Management, LLC and Dzung Truong
  • Court and Case Number: Orange Superior/30-201000387330
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Tuesday, February 07, 2012
  • Date Action was Filed: Sunday, July 11, 2010
  • Type of Case: Premises Liability, Vehicles - vs. Pedestrian
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. David R. Chaffee
  • Plaintiffs:
    Khuong Nguyen, 43, a video editor/cameraman
  • Defendants:
    Peninsula Hotel Management, LLC dba Ramada Plaza
    Dzung Truong
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: $1,600,037.
  • Award as to each Defendant:

    75% liability as to Dzung Truong; 25% as to Peninsula Hotel Management.

  • Economic Damages:

    $950,037 ($495,167 past, $454,870 future)

  • Non-Economic Damages:

    $650,000 ($450,000 past, $200,000 future)

  • Trial or Arbitration Time: 8 Days
  • Jury Deliberation Time: 2 days
  • Jury Polls: 11-1

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:
    Curd, Galindo & Smith, LLP by Alexis Galindo and Richard Wynn, Long Beach
  • Attorney for the Defendant:
    Belofsky & Hanker, LLP by David A. Belofsky, Torrance (for Peninsula Hotel Management)
    Parker Straus, LLP by Heather M. Roth, Glendale (for Dzung Truong)

The Experts

  • Plaintiff’s Medical Experts:
    Van Vu, M.D., pain management, Huntington Beach
    David Zamorano, M.D., orthopedic surgery, Orange
  • Defendant's Medical Experts:
    Hillel Sperling, M.D., orthopedic surgery, Tarzana
  • Plaintiff's Technical Experts:
    Brad P. Avrit, P.E., civil engineering/safety engineering, Marina Del Rey
    Jesse L. Wobrock, Ph.D., biomechanics, accident reconstruction, Los Angeles
    Darryl L. Zengler, M.A., forensic economics, Pasadena
  • Defendant's Technical Experts:
    Ned Wolfe, M.E., mechanical engineering, Signal Hill

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    Plaintiff was attending a business meeting at a restaurant in the Ramada Plaza Hotel. He went outside to smoke in an area with a bench and ashtray, adjacent to the parking lot. Defendant Dzung Truong tried to park his car in a handicap parking space near where plaintiff was smoking. Defendant's vehicle went over the curb of the parking space and pinned plaintiff to the wall of the hotel.

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    That Defendant Peninsula Hotel Management failed to protect guests and violated Garden Grove municipal code by failing to install a protective barrier between the parking space and the walkway area.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    That the curb between the parking space and walkway complied with building code.

Injuries and Other Damages

  • Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:

    Plaintiff underwent immediate open repair of the right fibular/tibia fracture at UCI Medical Center. Three days later, he underwent repair of the acetabular fracture with internal fixation.

Special Damages

  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Medical: $495,164
  • Special Damages Claimed - Future Medical: $454,870

Demands and Offers

  • Plaintiff §998 Demand: $700,000
  • Defendant §998 Offer: $60,000