On January 9, 2008, our client, then 58-years-old, was pulling her two-year-old
grandson in a wagon across Alcosta Boulevard, a major artery in the City
of San Ramon, when she was hit by an automobile driven by a teenaged motorist.
She was in a marked crosswalk at the time of the collision. While her
grandson's injuries were limited to a broken collar bone, she suffered
a catastrophic brain injury and now requires around-the-clock care.
The attorneys at Walker, Hamilton, Koenig & Burbidge, filed a lawsuit in
August 2008 on behalf of our mentally incompetent client, her husband,
and her grandson, against the teenaged driver, alleging negligence, and
against the City of San Ramon, charging it with liability for a dangerous
condition of public property.
The City attempted at various stages to defeat the case based on governmental
immunities and the testimony of witnesses who never saw the client look
to the left or right as she crossed the street. After two years of litigation
and extensive law and motion, in August 2010, our team, led by founding
partner, Walter ("Skip") Walker, III, was forced to try the
case in Contra Costa County. But, after three weeks of testimony and closing
arguments, and while the jurors were waiting to be instructed, the court
inexplicably determined that the City was immune from liability based
on documents that had not been produced until trial.
In December 2010, we filed an appeal, arguing that the trial court improperly
took the case away from the jury. The First District Court of Appeal agreed,
and, in August 2012, reversed the trial court's judgment and remanded
for a second trial. (The Court of Appeal's opinion can be read HERE.)
With a September 2014 trial date pending, the attorneys at Walker, Hamilton
& Koenig, LLP, negotiated a difficult settlement with the City of
San Ramon for $800,000. (We had previously settled for the $50,000 policy
limits of the teenaged motorist.) As part of the settlement, the City
will install in-roadway flashing lights or similar pedestrian safety enhancement
at the subject crosswalk. In addition, a Special Needs Trust has been
established to pay for our client's medical care for the remainder
of her life.
After nearly six years of hard-fought litigation, our client and her family
finally have closure. We are thankful to have been their advocate at every
step along the way.