Culver City bus rear-ends vehicle that stops at a yellow light. $40K. Los Angeles County.


Plaintiff had rejected the defense CCP 998 offer of $108,000 before trial.

The Case

  • Case Name: Girgis, S. v. City of Culver City, et al.
  • Court and Case Number: Los Angeles Superior Court / BC674090
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Tuesday, June 04, 2019
  • Date Action was Filed: Monday, August 28, 2017
  • Type of Case: Vehicles - Bus vs. Other
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Cary Nishimoto
  • Plaintiffs:
    S. Girgis
  • Defendants:
    City of Culver City
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: $40,000

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:

    Bausch Law Group by Natalie Bausch and Sarah Browne, Santa Monica

  • Attorney for the Defendant:

    McCune & Harber, LLP by Kenton E. Moore and Nazli Alimi, Los Angeles.

The Experts

  • Plaintiff’s Medical Expert(s):

    Stepan Kasimian, M.D., orthopedic surgery, Glendale.

    Pablo Pazmino, M.D., spinal surgery, Los Angeles.

    Rami Hashish, biomechanics, Los Angeles.

  • Defendant's Medical Expert(s):

    Clive Segil, M.D., orthopedic surgery, Los Angeles.

    James Baharvar, M.D., internal medicine, Santa Monica.

  • Plaintiff's Technical Expert(s):

    Rami Hashish, biomechanics.

  • Defendant's Technical Expert(s):

    Michael Callahan, accident reconstruction, Los Angeles.

    Mark Gomez, Ph.D., biomechanics, San Diego.

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    On November 18, 2016 in Culver City, a City of Culver City bus rear-ended plaintiff's vehicle that had stopped at a yellow light at the intersection of Washington Blvd. and Washington Place. 

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    Plaintiff alleged the City's bus driver was negligent in her operation of the bus and that the City was vicariously liable. Plaintiff claimed injuries to her neck and back as a result of the accident. She further claimed her accident-related injuries led to permanent spinal injuries that would require surgery.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    At trial, defendants admitted liability, and the remaining issues were causation and damages.

Injuries and Other Damages

  • Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:

    Plaintiff claimed the accident caused cervical disc compression and herniation that developed cervical myelopathy; as far as her lower back injuries, they were unspecified, but there was some evidence presented regarding an alleged lumbar disc herniation, and lumbar sprain/strain.


Demands and Offers

  • Plaintiff Final Demand before Trial: $550,000.
  • Defendant §998 Offer: $108,000.

Additional Notes

During settlement negotiations, plaintiff first demanded $412,000. Defendants offered $50,000. Approximately one month later, at mediation, plaintiff made an opening demand of $560,000. At the close of mediation, defendants offered $70,000 and plaintiff demanded $450,000. Prior to trial, defendants made a Code of Civil Procedure section 998 offer of $108,000. Plaintiff made a counter-demand of $550,000.

At trial, plaintiff asked the jury for an award of damages in the amount of $906,969 for past pain and suffering, future medical costs and future pain and suffering. The jury awarded $40,000.