CASE/NUMBER: Maria Cojuangco, et al., v, MXI Maumee Express/CV-266-383 (consolidated)
COURT/DATE: Kern Superior/Dec. 30, 2009
MEDIATOR: William Strickland
ATTORNEYS: Plaintiff – Joel H. Siegal (Law Offices of Joel H. Siegal, San Francisco) Defendant – Steven C. Clark (Law Offices of Thomas Burns, Fresno); James Emerson (Emerson Corey Sorensen Church & Libke, Fresno)
MEDICAL EXPERTS: Plaintiff – Tack Lam, MD., PhD., orthopedic biomechanics, Los Angeles
TECHNICAL EXPERTS: Plaintiff – Anita M. Kerezman, truck safety, Palm Springs; Robert A. Wilson, black box, trucks, Whittier; Gary T. Yamaguchi, PhD., P.E., accident reconstruction, Menlo Park.
FACTS: Plaintiffs, all members of the Cojuangco Family, were injured when their rented van was struck by a commercial truck along the Grapevine. Plaintiffs are nationals of the Philippines and were in California on vacation and were driving to the Bay Area following a brief Disneyland vacation.
PLAINTIFF’S CONTENTIONS: Plaintiffs contended that the truck’s brakes were not in safe operating order.
DEFENDANT’S CONTENTIONS: Defendant contended that there was no negligence on behalf of the truck driver and that the truck was safe. They also contended comparative fault, alleging that those seriously injured plaintiffs were not wearing seat belts.
INJURIES: Maria Cojuangco, age 47, suffered a compression fracture of T3 and burst fracture at T4. Pedro Cojuangco, Age 82, suffered a probable fracture of lamina at C5. Sari Cojuangco, age 75, suffered T5 vertebral body fracture. Other occupants of the van suffered soft tissue injuries or emotional distress.
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