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Albaum Complaint.docx

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									1    GERAGOS & GERAGOS
            A PROFESSIONAL CORPORATION
2                    LAWYERS

              3HISTORIC ENGINE Co. NO.
               28 644 SOUTH FIGUEROA
                       STREET
         LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA 900 17-34 1 1
             TELEPHONE (2 1 3) 625-3900
4            FACSIMILE (213) 625-1600
              GERAGOS@GERAGOS.COM

5    MARK GERAGOS                SBN 108325
     BEN MEISELAS                SBN 277412
6    Attorneys for Plaintiff NICOLE ALBAUM
7
8                SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
9                                  COUNTY OF SANTA CLARA




10
          ;;:    11    NICOLE ALBAUM, an individual,                 COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES:
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                                            Plaintiff,               1.   NEGLIGENCE;
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                                            v.                       3.   NEGLIGENCE PER SE
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                       RAVINDERBAL SINGH, an individual;                  SUPERVISION, and TRAINING
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15 0                   and doing business as SBT TRUCKING;
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                                                                     UNLIMITED CIVIL JURISDICTION
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                       SBT TRUCKING; and DOES 1 to 20,
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                 17    inclusive,                                    DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL
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                                            Defendants.
                 19
                 20
                            Plaintiff, Nicole Albaum, based upon information and belief, alleges:
                 21
                                                              INTRODUCTION
                 22
                              1.     This case arises out of a horrific vehicular collision that left Nicole Annette
                 23
                       Albaum ("A1baum") in critical condition. While driving on the northbound California State
                 24
                       Route 17 ("Highway 17"), Defendant Ravinderba1 Singh ("R. Singh") plowed into the rear
                 25
                       of Albaum' s car, severely injuring her and leaving her in critical condition with a severely
                 26
                       lacerated liver.   Defendant R. Singh's negligent driving resulted in one fatality and the
                 27
                       hospitalization of at least seven other motorists.    The truck was owned by Defendant
                 28
                       Surinderpal Singh ("S. Singh"), doing business as SBT Trucking ("SBT"), operating under
                                                                  - 1-
                                                          COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES
 1   United States Department of Transportation Number 1505697, and was driven by its
2    employee, Defendant R. Singh. As a result of Defendants' negligence, Plaintiff was severely
 3   injured.
4                                      GENERAL ALLEGATIONS
 5          2.         Plaintiff Albaum, at all relevant times, was a resident of Monterey County,
6    California.
7           3.         Defendant S. Singh, at all relevant times, was a resident of Merced County,
 8   California.
9           4.         At all times herein mentioned, Defendant Surinderpal Singh ("S. Singh") was
10   doing business as SBT Trucking ("SBT").          SBT is an active United States & Territories
11   beverage, fresh produce, general freight, and refrigerated food carrier operating under United
12   States Department of Transportation Number 1505697 I Motor Carrier Number 564967.
13   Upon information and belief, SBT conducts business throughout California and was
14   registered as a fictitious business in Madera County, California.    SBT Trucking owned the
15   truck that collided with Albaum' s vehicle and caused her to have a lacerated liver, among
16   other injuries.
17          5.         At all times herein mentioned, Defendant Ravinderpal Singh ("R. Singh"), was
18   a resident of Alameda County, California. At all relevant times herein mentioned, Singh was
19   an agent, employee, and/or representative of SBT and was acting in the course and scope of
20   his employment. R. Singh had been a truck driver for approximately three (3) months at the
21   time of the incident.
22          6. Plaintiff is unaware of the true names and capacities of Defendants named herein as
23   DOES 1 through 20, inclusive, and therefore sue said Defendants by such fictitious names.
24   Plaintiff will seek leave of Court to amend this Complaint to allege the true names and
25   capacities of said Defendants when they are ascertained. Plaintiff is informed and believes
26   and thereon alleges that each of the aforesaid fictitiously named Defendants are responsible
27   in some manner for the happenings and occurrences alleged herein.
28
                                                    -2-
COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES
                           1           7. On or about July 10, 2014, at approximately 7:50 a.m. Albaum was driving
                           2    northbound on Highway 17, located in Santa Clara County, California.
                           3           8. On or about July 10, 2014, at approximately 7:50 a.m., Defendant R. Singh was
                           4    driving northbound on Highway 17, located in Santa Clara County, California, and collided
                           5    with Albaum' s vehicle.
                           6           9. Defendant R. Singh was acting within the scope and course of his employment as
                           7    an employee/agent of S. Singh and/or SBT and DOES 1-20. Defendant R. Singh was driving
                           8    a big-rig ("the truck"), owned and operated, controlled, maintained, and/or insured by
                           9    Defendants S. Singh and/or SBT.
                     10                10.    On or prior to July 10, 2014, Defendants S. Singh, R. Singh, and DOES 1 to 20
              u:;:    11        loaded and/or filled the truck beyond the limits allowed and in violation of the Federal Motor
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                                down. Defendant R. Singh eventually slammed on the truck's brakes, locked up the truck's
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                     17                 12.   Defendant R. Singh was not able to stop his truck in time and collided with at
                     18         least seven (7) different vehicles, including Plaintiff Albaum' s vehicle.   As an immediate
                     19         result of this collision, Plaintiff Albaum was transported to a hospital, suffered from a
                     20         lacerated liver, and was in critical condition.
                     21                13.    At all relevant times, Defendant R. Singh was driving at an unreasonable
                     22         and/or excessive speed in consideration of the driving conditions present at the time of the
                     23         incident.
                     24                14.    At all relevant times, Defendants R. Singh, S. Singh, SBT, and DOES 1 to 20
                     25         failed to follow state and federal regulations, including, but not limited to, those under the
                     26         FMCSA.
                     27
                     28
                                                                                  -3-
                                                                     COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES
                      1          15.       At all relevant time, Defendant R. Singh knew or should have known that he
                     2    was driving the truck while in violation of the load limitations and requirements under the
                     3    FMCSA and/or other state and local regulations.
                     4           16.       At all relevant times, Defendant R. Singh knew or should have known that he
                     5    was driving on the section of northbound Highway 17 that had a 6-percent grade.
                     6           17.       At all relevant times, Defendant R. Singh knew or should have known that the
                     7    vehicles further ahead of him, on Highway 17, were stopped or had slowed down, and that
                     8    he should have started applying the brakes to his truck when he was further away from the
                     9    vehicles.
                     10          18.       Immediately after the horrific collision, Defendant R. Singh admitted that he
              u;;:   11   had too much weight and was travelling with too much speed on too steep a grade.
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CFJ NWO                                                     FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION
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(,!!   a: ::J lD                 19.       Plaintiff realleges and incorporates as if fully stated herein each and every
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                          allegation contained above and incorporates the same herein by this reference as though set
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                     17   forth in full.
                     18          20.       Defendant R. Singh, as a driver of a vehicle, owed a duty of care to Plaintiff
                     19   Albaum to exercise reasonable care in operating a motor vehicle.
                     20          21.       Defendant R. Singh, while in the course and scope of his employment with
                     21   SBT, breached said duty of care by failing to act with the requisite skill and care required by
                     22   the average driver under the same or similar circumstances.
                     23          22.       Defendant R. Singh owed a duty of care to Plaintiff Albaum to exercise
                     24   reasonable care in ensuring that his truck was properly loaded and that it did not exceed the
                     25   weight limitations of the FMCSA.
                     26          23.       DOES 1 to 20 owe a duty of care to Plaintiff Albaum to exercise reasonable
                     27   care in properly loading the truck so that it was not in excess of the weight regulations under
                     28   the FMCSA and that the load was properly balanced.
                                                                         -4-
                                                                COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES
 1           24.      As a proximate cause of Defendant R. Singh's negligent conduct, Plaintiff
 2   Albaum has suffered and continues to suffer injuries, damages, and pain and suffering, all in
 3   amount to be proved at trial.
 4           25.      As a proximate cause of Defendant R. Singh's negligent conduct, Plaintiff
 5   Albaum has also incurred medical expenses, and reasonably anticipates incurring future
 6   medical expenses and other losses, all in an amount to be proved at trial.
 7           26.      As a further damage to Plaintiff, due to the negligent acts of Defendant R.
 8   Singh, Plaintiff Albaum has lost and will continue to lose wages, all in an amount to be
 9   proved at trial.
10                                   SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION
11                                       NEGLIGENCE PER SE
12                                (Plaintiff Albaum against all Defendants)
13           27.      Plaintiff realleges and incorporates as if fully stated herein each and every
14   allegation contained above and incorporates the same herein by this reference as though set
15   forth in full.
16           28.      Defendant R. Singh, as a driver of a vehicle, violated California Vehicle Code
17   Section 22350 by driving upon Highway 17 at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent
18   based on the conditions that were present.
19           29.      Defendant R. Singh, while in the course and scope of his employment with
20   SBT, violated California Vehicle Code Section 22350 by driving upon Highway 17 at a
21   speed greater than is reasonable or prudent based on the conditions that were present.
22           30.      Defendant R. Singh's violation of California Vehicle Section 22350 was a
23   direct, proximate and legal result of Plaintiff Albaum' s harm.
24
25
26
27
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                                                    -5-
                                           COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES
 1                                        THIRD CAUSE OF ACTION
 2                        NEGLIGENT HIRING, TRAINING, AND SUPERVISION
 3                   (Plaintiff Albaum against S. Singh, SBT Trucking, and DOES 1 through 20)
 4             31.      Plaintiff realleges and incorporate as if fully stated herein each and every
 5     allegation contained above and incorporate the same herein by this reference as though set
 6     forth in full.
 7             32.      Defendant S. Singh, SBT, and DOES 1 through 20, inclusive, failed in their
     8 duty to hire, retain, supervise, and train employees who are fit and competent. S. Singh, SBT,

 9      and DOES 1 through 20, inclusive, failed to implement measures to protect third persons
10     from the predictable and foreseeable risks posed by employees who were not properly
       supervised and/or trained.
               33.      On or prior to July 10, 2014, Defendants S. Singh and/or SBT were negligent
       and careless in hiring, training, and/or supervising Defendant R. Singh. Defendant S. Singh
       and SBT negligently employed Defendant R. Singh to perform job duties, including driving
       the truck, on behalf of Defendants S. Singh and SBT.
               34.      At all times mentioned herein, Defendants S. Singh and SBT knew or should
17     have known that Defendant R. Singh was unfit to be hired or to drive at the time of the
18     incident, and was a threat to the safety of other motorists while driving for the benefit of
19     SBT.
20             35.      Plaintiff is informed and believes and thereon alleges that, in doing the acts
21     alleged herein, Defendants S. Singh and SBT, knew, or in the exercise of reasonable
22     diligence should have known, that Defendant R. Singh was neither qualified nor able to
23     safely operate the truck in a manner that is reasonably expected of an employee or agent. As
24     such, an undue risk to persons such as Plaintiff would exist because of the employment of
25     Defendant R. Singh.
26             36.      In hiring Defendant R. Singh to perform transports on Defendants S. Singh's
27     and/or SBT's behalf, Defendant S. Singh and/or knew, or in the exercise of reasonable
28     diligence, should have known that Defendant R. Singh was inadequately trained and/or
        -6-
COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES
                        1   prepared to drive the truck at the time the incident occurred. Defendants S. Singh and/or
                       2    SBT ignored all indications to ensure Defendant R. Singh would be able to safely operate the
                        3   truck.
                       4             37. Defendants S. Singh and SBT knew, or in the exercise of reasonable diligence,
                        5   should have known, that Defendant R. Singh posed an undue risk to persons such            as
                        6   Plaintiff. Defendant S. Singh and/or SBT breached its duty by hiring, retaining, training,
                       7    and/or supervising Defendant R. Singh and/or by unsafely maintaining its vehicle, and said
                        8   breaches were a direct and proximate cause of Plaintiff's injuries and damages. As a direct
                        9   and proximate result of the Defendants' conduct as alleged herein, Plaintiff have suffered
                       10   past and future special damages and past and future general damages in an amount according
                       11   to proof at trial.
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                                     WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays for judgment as follows:
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                       17            3.      For costs of suit; and
                                     25
                       18            4.      For such other and further relief as the Court deems just and proper.
                                     26
                       19
                                     27
                       20
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                                          DATED: July 17, 2014                         GERAGOS & GERAGOS, APC
                                                                                                )



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                                                                                  By: ..- /     / . .··
                                                                                      MARK GERAGOS
                                                                                      BEN MEISELAS
                                                                                      Attorney for Plaintiff
                                                                                      NICOLE ALBAUM
        - 7-
COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES
                    1                                  DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL
                    2           Plaintiff, Nicole Albaum, hereby demands for a jury trial.
                    3
                    4                                                    (          .::•- ._:--- · _/
                           DATED: July 17,2014                           . , -'?·           _./
                                                                                         GERAGOS & GERAGOS, APC
                    5                                                     ! .. . .·           .         )   .   ')

                    6

                    7                                                        By: . \"l..          .··
                    8                                                                    tMARK
                                                                                        GE(AGOS BEN
                    9                                                                   MEISELAS
                                                                                        Attorney for Plaintiff
                   10                                                                   NICOLE ALBAUM
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        -8-
COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES

								
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