On March 22, 2017, plaintiff Enrique Quinero, a laborer, was removing a metal water crossing on Wilshire Boulevard in Santa Monica. Quinero was working in a closed lane of traffic kneeling to remove asphalt that was covering the water crossing.
As he worked, an employee of the City of Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus drove a 60-foot accordion bus next to the closed lane where Quinero was kneeling.
The bus driver was a trainee, and an instructor driver in the bus supervising him. The trainee driver drove too close to the right side of the road and struck a portion of the water crossing equipment that was affixed to the sidewalk dislodging it.
The equipment became trapped under the moving bus, whipping into the area where Quinero was working. The plate trapped Quinero’s right leg, catching and dragging him down.
Quinero was taken to the hospital. He ultimately had to have his right leg amputated below the knee as a result of this accident. Immediately following the accident, Quinero had emergency surgery to try and save his leg. He endured muscle grafts, skin grafts, and the placement of plates and screws. The wound never healed properly and Quinero was hospitalized several times for infection. Due to the severity of his injury, Quinero eventually had the below the knee amputation.
Quinero sought recovery for his past and future medical costs, past and future wages and emotional distress. Plaintiff Alma Quinero, Quinero’s wife, sought recovery for loss of consortium.
Quinero sued the City of Santa Monica, as well as the trainee driver.
Quinero’s counsel alleged the trainee driver was negligent in the operation of the bus and that the city was negligent via the instructor.
Plaintiff’s counsel contended the trainee driver was inattentive, and the instructor failed to properly supervise the trainee.
The city denied any wrongdoing and denied plaintiffs’ assertions that the city was negligent.
The parties agreed to settle prior to trial for $4.75 million.