San Jose Jury Understands the Severity of Traumatic Brain Injury

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On September 21, 2009 a San Jose jury awarded nearly $50M in a landmark traumatic brain injury case, a verdict that included lost wages and long-term care for the plaintiff.

This is a situation where the jurors fully understood the long-term implications of a traumatic brain injury case.

Recognizing the staggering costs of healthcare associated with traumatic brain injury, a San Jose jury awarded Drew Dakota Bianchi $49,123,375.87 late Monday afternoon (September 21, 2009). The verdict, which was delivered in Santa Clara County Superior Court, Action No.: 1-08-CV-104548, followed a hotly contested five-week trial involving two truck drivers who collided on State Route 152 (Pacheco Pass), one of whom thereafter struck the car in which plaintiff was a passenger.

Plaintiff, Drew Dakota Bianchi, was a 21-year-old passenger in a Toyota Avalon, when, on May 3, 2007, he was struck by a Peterbilt truck driven by defendant, Samuel Bimbela. Evidence at trial established that Mr. Bimbela, driving his Peterbilt truck, and codefendant Mr. Michael Demma, driving a Gordon Trucking 18-wheel big rig, struck each other at or near the centerline on State Route 152. No pre-impact evasive maneuvers were undertaken by either driver.

Mr. Bianchi, whose injuries necessitate a lifetime of 24/7 care, brought suit against both truck drivers/trucking companies, as well as the State of California.

Representing attorney Randall H. Scarlett of San Francisco noted: "This is a situation where the jurors fully understood the long-term implications of a traumatic brain injury case."

The jury, recognizing the devastating cost of future care for an individual sustaining traumatic brain injury, awarded $3.4 million in past medical expenses, $27.6 million in future medical expenses, $4.5 million for future lost wages, and $13.5 million in general damages.

The jury attributed fault in the amount of 35% to Gordon Trucking/Michael Demma, 60% to Samuel Bimbela, and 5% to the State of California.

The verdict is thought to be one of the highest non-punitive verdicts in the State of California for an individual sustaining traumatic brain injury.

Plaintiff was represented by Randall H. Scarlett of San Francisco, California and Thomas Wm. Malone of Atlanta, Georgia. Mr. Scarlett dedicates his career to individuals sustaining brain injury. He actively serves as a Board Member on the California Brain Injury Association, and dedicates both his professional and personal life to improving the lives of those sustaining traumatic brain injury.

The Scarlett Law Group are National Trial Lawyers based in San Francisco, California with outstanding results in cases involving traumatic brain injury, head injury, personal injury, catastrophic personal injuries, mass torts, medical malpractice, professional negligence, big rig accidents, trucking accidents, class actions, civil rights, environmental disasters and wrongful death.

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Deborah Swann