Motor Vehicle – Truck, Passenger, Rear-ender
PuaoleleIeremia V. Dick Wyatt Piersma and Hilmar Unified School District, No. CVO25491
June 18, 2007
PuaoleleIeremia (Female, 34 Years)
Lawrance A. Bohm; Bohm Law Group; Sacramento, CA, for PuaoleleIeremia
Gregory R. Davenport; Law Offices of Gregory R. Davenport; Stockton, CA, for Puaolele
Dan Phelps; C.P.A.; Economics; Stockton, CA called by Lawrance A. Bohm, Gregory R. Davenport
John Harbison; M.D.; Psychiatry; San Rafael, CA called by Lawrance A. Bohm, Gregory R. Davenport
David Apfelberg; M.D.; Plastic Surgery/Reconstructive Surgery; Palo Alto, CA called by Lawrance A. Bohm, Gregory R. Davenport
Scott Simon; MS, CRC; Vocational Rehabilitation; San Jose, CA called by Lawrance A. Bohm, Gregory R. Davenport
Cherry Frame; R.N.; Home Health Care; Sacramento, CA called by Lawrance A. Bohm, Gregory R. Davenport
Hilmar Unified School District
Jeffrey R. Olson; McCormick, Barstow LLP; Modesto, CA, for Dick Wyatt, Hilmar Unified School District
Karen Preston; Home Health Care; Sacramento, CA called by Jeffrey R. Olson Ricky Sarkisian;
Vocational Rehabilitation/Counseling; Fresno, CA called by Jeffrey R. Olson George
McLaughlin; Economics; Emeryville, CA called by Jeffrey R. Olson Joseph Capell; Physical
Medicine; Fresno, CA called by Jeffrey R. Olson Ronald Iverson; Plastic Surgery/Reconstructive
Surgery; Pleasanton, CA called by Jeffrey R. Olson Randall Epperson; Neuropsychology; Modesto, CA called by Jeffrey R. Olson
On Sept. 2, 2004, plaintiff PuaoleleIeremia, a 34-year-old customer service representative, was a passenger in the SUV that her husband Roy was driving northbound on Interstate 5, by Turner Road in Lodi. After Mr. Ieremia slowed for traffic, he swerved his car to the right in an attempt to avoid being struck from behind by the Hilmar Unified School District pickup that Dick Wyatt Piersma was driving at a rate of over 50 mph. The pickup struck the Ieremia’s SUV anyway and Mrs. Ieremia ended up being ejected from the passenger seat.
Claiming injuries, Mrs. Ieremia sued Wyatt and the school district for negligent operation of a motor vehicle.
Counsel for the defense conceded that the school district was liable for the collision but it argued that Mrs. Ieremia would not have sustained the amount of injuries that she had if she had been wearing her seatbelt. Plaintiff‘s counsel contended that Mrs. Ieremia was actually wearing her seatbelt but she was ejected anyway because she had reclined the seat all the way back so that she could sleep.
Mrs. Ieremia was airlifted to the ER where physicians determined that she sustained a number of injuries including a ruptured spleen, fractured clavicle, shoulder impingement, a fractured shoulder, multiple lacerations on her right arm with hypertrophic formulations, lacerations on her face and abdomen, and a severe right leg skin avulsion with nerve damage where the flesh was torn off. A skin graft was performed on Mrs. Ieremia’s leg. Mrs. Ieremia’s injuries caused permanent scarring and loss of sensation to her right foot. Her avulsion injury also got infected.
Plaintiffs counsel claimed that Mrs. Ieremia tried to return to work after about one year but she still felt significant pain and she took a leave of absence. She still wasn’t working at the time of the trial and she claimed that she still felt pain when she walked. Lastly, counsel argued that the injuries and pain caused Mrs. Ieremia to suffer from depression.
Plaintiffs counsel sought to recover $30,428 for past lost earnings, $630,694 for future lost wages, $21,207 for past home care costs, $3,064,826 for future home care services, and $23,200,000 past and future pain and suffering damages.
Counsel for the defense argued that Mrs. Ieremia actually returned to work four months after the collision but she had abruptly quit a year-and-a-half later. Counsel contended that Mrs. Ieremia failed to mitigate her damage because she didn’t seek treatment and therapy for her injuries, depression and pain.
The jury awarded Mrs. Ieremia $2,028,145 in damages.
$8,145 Personal Injury: Past Medical Cost
$30,000 Personal Injury: Past Lost Earnings Capability
$90,000 Personal Injury: FutureLostEamingsCapability
$1,900,000 Personal Injury: past & future pain & suffering
$2 million CCP 998
12-0 on economic damages 10-2 on non-economic damages
7 male/ 5 female
Counsel for the defense intends to file an appeal of the judge’s ruling that civil code § 3333 4(a)(3) didn’t apply to Mrs. Ieremia,
This report is based on information that was provided by plaintiffs and defense counsel.