Long-haul truck driver gets hit by yard goat at truck wash. $775K. Los Angeles County.


Trucker claims truck wash employee is negligent in accident with yard goat.  See interesting 998 offers.

The Case

  • Case Name: Salvador P. Santos v. Sergio Ramirez & LA Wash Rack, Inc.
  • Court and Case Number: Los Angeles Superior Court / BC513759
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Wednesday, July 15, 2015
  • Date Action was Filed: Friday, June 28, 2013
  • Type of Case: Vehicles - vs. Pedestrian
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Anthony Mohr
  • Plaintiffs:
    Salvador P. Santos, 61, long-haul truck driver
  • Defendants:
    Sergio Antonio Ramirez
    LA Wash Rack, Inc.
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: $775,420.77
  • Contributory/Comparative Negligence: 0%
  • Economic Damages:


  • Non-Economic Damages:


  • Trial or Arbitration Time: 10 days
  • Jury Deliberation Time: 4 hours
  • Jury Polls: 11-1 liability; 11-1 no comparative; 12-0 Past Economic; 10-2 Future Economic Loss; 11-1 Past Non-Economic; 11-1 Future Non-Economic.
  • Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: The parties settled post-verdict for amount including plaintiff's costs.

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:

    Girardi Keese by David R. Lira and Alexandra T. Steele, Los Angeles.

  • Attorney for the Defendant:

    Kirk & Zurawski by James Zurawski, Los Angeles.

The Experts

  • Plaintiff’s Medical Expert(s):

    Chadwick Smith, M.D., orthopedic surgery, Los Angeles.

  • Defendant's Medical Expert(s):

    Jacob Tauber, M.D., orthopedic surgery, Los Angeles.

  • Plaintiff's Technical Expert(s):

    Enrique Vega, M.S., C.R.C, C.D.M.S., vocational rehabilitation, Los Angeles.

  • Defendant's Technical Expert(s):

    Richard H. Andersen, M.S., C.V.E., C.R.C., C.D.M.S., vocational rehabilitation, Westminster.

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    Plaintiff, a long-haul truck driver, sued Sergio A. Ramirez and LA Wash Rack Inc., in connection with an accident that occurred when plaintiff stopped at the defendant truck wash to pick up a load. The accident occurred on May 2, 2013 in Vernon, California.

    While at LA Wash Rack, Inc., plaintiff discovered that the air brakes on his trailer were not working. Plaintiff and a third-party mechanic were working on the air brakes when defendant Ramirez, an employee of LA Wash Rack, Inc., backed up an Ottawa yard goat into plaintiff, throwing him violently to the ground, causing facial and skull fractures, shoulder and low back injuries, and a broken ankle, among other injuries.

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    Plaintiff claimed that Ramirez and LA Wash Rack were negligent in the operation of the yard goat, injuring plaintiff, and causing him to sustain serious and lasting injuries.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    Defendants contended that plaintiff was also negligent and that plaintiff had a quick and full recovery. Defendants argued plaintiff was therefore not entitled to the claimed future medical costs or future pain and suffering.

Injuries and Other Damages

  • Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:

    Plaintiff claimed a broken maxillary sinus and basilar skull fractures, a torn rotator cuff, lumbar spine injuries, and a broken left ankle.

    Plaintiff received emergency medical treatment at LAC-USC and was treated for his ankle fracture, back and shoulder issues back in Texas. His future medical needs consist of a surgery on the lumbar spine and rotator cuff.

Special Damages

  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Medical: $29,832
  • Special Damages Claimed - Future Medical: $151,500
  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Lost Earnings: $34,800
  • Special Damages Claimed - Future Lost Earnings: $71,225

Demands and Offers

  • Plaintiff §998 Demand: $750,000
  • Defendant §998 Offer: $200,000, which was withdrawn the first day of trial.