City truck runs over beachgoer. $2.3 million. Los Angeles County.


Man sleeping on beach in Long Beach is run over by city truck. City says he should have known that trucks operate where he was sleeping.


The Case

  • Case Name: Jonathan Soto v. City of Long Beach
  • Court and Case Number: Los Angeles Superior Court / BC 559317
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Wednesday, June 22, 2016
  • Date Action was Filed: Monday, February 24, 2014
  • Type of Case: Negligence, Vehicles - vs. Pedestrian
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Peter Mirich
  • Plaintiffs:
    Jonathan Soto - 66, male, retired.
  • Defendants:
    City of Long Beach
    Stanley Willie Delaney
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: $2,328,954.50
  • Economic Damages:


  • Non-Economic Damages:


  • Trial or Arbitration Time: 6 days.
  • Jury Deliberation Time: 1 day.
  • Jury Polls: 12-0 as to liability and damages.

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:

    GIRARDI & KEESE by David R. Lira and Alexandra Steele, Los Angeles.

  • Attorney for the Defendant:

    Long Beach City Attorney's office by Monte Machit and Nicholas Masero.

The Experts

  • Plaintiff’s Medical Expert(s):

    Jacob Tauber, M.D., orthopedics, Beverly Hills.

  • Defendant's Medical Expert(s):

    Thomas Schmalzried, M.D., orthopedics, Los Angeles.

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    On February 4, 2014 at 10:00 am, plaintiff was asleep on the beach when a City pick-up truck operated by defendant Delaney ran over him.

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    That defendant Delaney, in the course and scope of his employment for the City, was negligent in the operation of the City pick-up truck by failing to keep a proper lookout for beachgoers. That plaintiff suffered serious injuries.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    Defendants contended that plaintiff was negligent for sleeping on a known truck route on the beach. Defendants also alleged that plaintiff made an excellent recovery with no residual symptoms.

Injuries and Other Damages

  • Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:

    Fractures of the pelvic ring requiring open reduction with internal fixation. Fractures of L1-L4; no surgical intervention.

Special Damages

  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Medical: $253,642

Demands and Offers

  • Plaintiff §998 Demand: None.
  • Plaintiff Final Demand before Trial: $1,600,000
  • Plaintiff Demand during Trial: None.
  • Defendant §998 Offer: None.
  • Defendant Final Offer before Trial: $640,000
  • Defendant Offer during Trial: None.