Bar's insurer pays damage claim when truck strikes building, sues drivers that caused accident. $158,000. San Diego County.


Truck crashes into cocktail lounge after colliding with auto.  Cocktail lounge insurer pays damage claim, then sues drivers that caused the accident. 

The Case

  • Case Name: California Fair Plan v. Foster and Snap-On
  • Court and Case Number: San Diego Superior Court / 37-2014-0008424-CU-PA-CTL
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Friday, May 29, 2015
  • Date Action was Filed: Monday, November 03, 2014
  • Type of Case: Insurance Subrogation, Recovery, Indemnity, Vehicles - Auto vs. Auto
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Joel Pressman
  • Plaintiffs:
    California Fair Plan
  • Defendants:
    Terence Foster
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: $158,000.00 to Calfornia Fair Plan; $1,500.00 to Snap-On
  • Award as to each Defendant:

    $158,000.00 against Snap-On; $1,500 against Foster.

  • Economic Damages:

    All damages were economic.

  • Trial or Arbitration Time: 2 1/2 days.
  • Jury Deliberation Time: 6 hours.

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:

    Espinosa & Espinosa by Daniel Espinosa and Cynthia Farias, Santa Ana.

  • Attorney for the Defendant:

    Law Office of Bryce O Willett by Scott Laqua, San Diego.

    Borton Petrini LLP by Paul Kissel, San Diego.

The Experts

  • Plaintiff's Technical Expert(s):

    Ron Carr, accident reconstruction, San Diego.

  • Defendant's Technical Expert(s):

    Steve Plourd, accident reconstruction, San Diego.

    Ron Carr, accident reconstruction, San Diego.

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    On November 29, 2013 a Snap-On Tools truck collided with a car operated by defendant Foster in a center turn lane, propelling defendant Foster into the vehicle ahead while the truck veered to an angle, striking a fire hydrant and crashing into Pete's Cocktail Lounge. The cocktail lounge was insured by plaintiff California Fair Plan. California Fair Plan then sought subrogation against Snap-On and Foster. Snap-On sought damages for its vehicle and lost inventory, among other things.

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    That between Foster and Snap-On, someone was at fault., and plaintiff insurer was entitled to recover its costs to settle the claim.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    The other defendant was at fault.

Injuries and Other Damages

  • Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:

    None. Only property damage.

  • $158,000 damage to Pete's Cocktails Lounge and $87,000 to Snap-On.

Additional Notes

Multiple verdict forms and levels of fault by defendants were involved.