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					                            PERSONAL INJURY
                              AUTO v. TRUCK
                             Wrongful Death

SETTLEMENT: $3,050,000

CASE: Valencia, et al v. Jesmar Construction, et al.

BC 331693/DATE: Los Angeles Superior Court - Central February 1,
2006

JUDGE: Haley J. Frumholz, Dept. 20

ATTORNEYS: Plaintiffs - Michael H. Whitehill (Kussman &

Whitehill, Los Angeles)



            Defendant - Jay McClaugherty, Leslie Ann Keidel,

(McClaugherty, Mulder & Keidel) for Jesmar Construction and Jesus

Hernandez

                       - Christopher Wesiersky, (Wesierski & Zurek

- Irvine) for Patrick Biggins

                       - Steven Joffe, (Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz,

     Edelman & Dicker - Los Angeles) for Albert Ramirez



FACTS:   Plaintiff Maria Valencia was driving on the I-5 Freeway

in Orange County with her mother, decedent, Gilda Valencia, who

was riding in the front passenger seat.       Defendant Jesus

Hernandez, while driving a dump truck within the course and scope

of his employment for Jesmar Construction, locked up his brakes

to avoid hitting a vehicle which had stopped in front of him.



                                   −1−
The dump truck swerved into the next lane where it hit co-

Defendant Biggins’ vehicle which in turn hit co-Defendant

Ramirez.    Ramirez’s truck then collided with Plaintiff’s vehicle.

Plaintiffs’ decedent, Gilda Valencia, was killed in the accident

and Plaintiff Marie Valencia suffered a broken nose and facial

scarring.



PLAINTIFFS’ CONTENTIONS: Plaintiffs contended that Hernandez was

responsible for the accident for traveling at an unsafe speed and

making an unsafe lane change.   In addition, it was contended that

the Jesmar Construction vehicle was not properly maintained in

that the brakes were not operating properly and the vehicle was

overloaded at the time of the accident.   Plaintiffs also

contended that Biggins and Ramirez could have been more careful

in avoiding the Jesmar dump truck once it lost control.



DEFENDANTS’ CONTENTION: Defendant Hernandez    contended that

another vehicle abruptly turned into his lane and then slammed on

its brakes forcing Hernandez to violently apply his brakes.

Defendants Biggins and Ramirez contended they were innocent

victims of the accident and in fact brought their own personal

injury claims against Jesmar Construction.    Hernandez and Jesmar

contended that Plaintiff Maria Valencia was speeding and could

have avoided the accident.


                                 −2−
INJURIES: The wrongful death of a 56 year old wife and mother of

three adult children, as well as the personal injury and

emotional distress claim of Plaintiff Marie Valencia.



SETTLEMENT DISCUSSIONS:   Defendants Biggins and Ramirez agreed to

pay the Valencia plaintiffs $50,000 apiece for a total of

$100,000.   Defendants Hernandez and Jesmar Construction had a

combined single limits $1,000,000 policy issued by Allstate.

There were other claimants besides Plaintiffs to the policy and

Plaintiffs made a settlement demand of $950,000 approximately 7

months after the accident.   The settlement offer was rejected.



Four months later, a mediation was held before Troy Roe.     All

claimants to the $1,000,000 Allstate policy issued to Jesmar,

other than Plaintiffs, agreed to accept an aggregate payment of

$50,000 from Allstate to release all claims.   Plaintiffs,

Allstate and Defendants Jesmar and Hernandez agreed to a

stipulated judgment on behalf of plaintiffs against Defendants

Jesmar Construction and Hernandez for $2,950,000.   Allstate

agreed to immediately pay $950,000 in partial satisfaction of the

judgment.   Jesmar and Hernandez assigned to Plaintiffs their

rights against Allstate to collect on the remaining $2 million

dollar unpaid portion of the judgment.


                                −3−
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