SETTLEMENT : Child struck by car because of poor traffic control on construction project
In the afternoon hours of April 24, 2000, 8-year-old Patricia Garcia was traveling with her then-babysitter Trinidad Romero on errands after school. The car, operated by Romero, was traveling southbound on San Diego’s Euclid Avenue during rush hour traffic.
On their way home, Romero decided to stop at a local market/liquor store on the opposite side of Euclid Avenue. However, the heavy opposing traffic made it impossible to turn left into the parking lot, so Romero parked in a no parking zone on the right, directly across from the store. Once parked, Romero searched the vehicle’s trunk for her purse and allowed the young Patricia to cross the street by herself to purchase candy.
Around the same time, Arturo Rodriguez and his passenger were also making their way southbound on Euclid. The pair claimed to see a construction sign and orange construction cones protruding into the northbound lane just a quarter of a mile north of the liquor store. This allegedly forced the northbound lane to be narrowed and create a bottleneck which exacerbated the traffic situation.
Having bought her candy, Patricia was preparing to cross the road back to Romero’s vehicle. A driver in the halted northbound lane waved her forward to the southbound lane where Rodriguez’s car was approaching. Both Patricia and Rodriguez claimed a large SUV-style vehicle obstructed their views and so as Patricia began to cross the southbound lane, Rodriguez’s vehicle struck her.
Patricia Garcia suffered debilitating injuries from the impact that required extensive surgeries, hospitalization, and rehabilitation over the course of several months. Her injuries included substantial orthopedic injuries and head trauma resulting in cognitive dysfunction with memory impairment that doctors predicted could impact her success in finding gainful employment in her adult years.
The Garcia family hired attorney Richard B. Koskoff to represent Patricia in a lawsuit against the driver Rodriguez, the city of San Diego, and Ortiz Construction Company. His team argued that Rodriguez was partially culpable of vehicular negligence while the city and Ortiz Construction Co. breached their duties to residents in increasing the risk of harm to pedestrians during the course of their work. Specifically, Koskoff argued that the system of construction cones combined with the hilly San Diego street created a dangerous roadway condition that limited driver’s sight and ability to avoid pedestrians crossing the street.
Initially, the city and Ortiz argued that Patricia was at fault for darting out without looking and contended there was no road design defect. However, just before trial the two parties agreed to a settlement on January 31, 2003. On that date, the plaintiff entered into a global settlement with both the city and Ortiz for $1,650,000 present value, with a guaranteed payout of $3,282,080 over the next 30 years of Patricia’s life. After 30 years, Patricia is set to receive $3,318 monthly and $1,842 quarterly for the rest of her life. Additionally, Booth & Koskoff secured a settlement of $25,000 with Rodriguez.
“Because of Roger’s experience and professionalism, I was able to focus on the others things I needed to do for my brother to care for him during this time. He was a godsend, and I would highly recommend Roger and his staff.”
– Penny Vincelli
The lawyers and staff at Booth & Koskoff were efficient, thorough, helpful and always available, even on weekends. I am very pleased with my overall experience, and I would recommend Booth & Koskoff to anyone who needs an excellent attorney.
– Keith Schultz
“From the moment I contacted Booth & Koskoff from my hospital bed to the eventual settlement of my case, I experienced nothing but outstanding assistance and representation.”
– Claire Rexon
When I met with Roger, he was honest, genuine, and straight-forward on how we would proceed. Roger took a leap of faith when taking this case. He trusted what I said to be true, and wasn’t afraid to proceed.
– Cynthia Mitchell
“Mr. Booth did an incredible job resolving the case for us, and we are very thankful for the successful ending to our lawsuit. Thank you for your hard work Mr. Booth. You will always be our family lawyer and friend.”
– Sam Kirakosyan
My family experienced a tremendous loss as a result of my father’s death. During the entire process of investigation and settlement of our case, we were treated with the utmost professionalism by the Booth & Koskoff attorneys and staff.
– Dale Magner
“We felt lucky like we were referred to Booth & Koskoff by someone we trusted. Richard’s professionalism and tenacity showed that he definitely was in our court.”
– John Mahoney