Court Rejects Catastrophic Brain Damage Claim Against County

June 21, 2006

A California Court denied recovery to a 21 year old Taiwanese college coed who suffered tragic life altering injuries in a violent car accident on a County of Los Angeles road.

The young woman, a bel ted passenger in a BMW driven by her boyfriend, was rushed to University of Southern California Medical Center after the car skidded on a wet roadway curve and leapt over a curb, hit a telephone pole, knocked down a tree, barreled through a chainlink fence and came to rest against a building wall. The severity of the woman’s brain injury will require round the clock medical care for the rest of her life. Economists estimate future medical damages against County of Los Angeles ranging from $20 million to $35 million.

The Taiwanese native’s claim against the County of Los Angeles alleged inadequate drainage, improper design and poor maintenance of the heavily traveled thoroughfare. Although the first paramedics on the scene reported the BMW driver may have been intoxicated, the County never had the benefit of deposing the driver because he left the United States after the accident, returning to Taiwan to join the Taiwanese military.

The Superior Court, basing its decision on eye witness testimony that the roadway, while very wet was not flooded, held that the
woman was not entitled to recover despite her long-term injuries and exorbitant damages because the roadway was not in a dangerous condition at the time and, even if so, the County of Los Angeles was protected by the Weather Immunity set forth in Government Code §831. Jui-Chen Chien et aL. v. Countv o£ Los AngeLes, Superior Court o£ Los AnqeLes Countv, KC045866

Source: Coleman & Associates

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