San Bernadino, Calif.— Managing Partner, Samer Habbas and Associate Attorney, Kristina Akers of The Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates reach a $ 1,002,000 liability settlement for a motorcycle accident. The claimant was exiting a gas station parking lot at a very slow speed. While riding on an unsecured gas hose cover, his motorcycle got caught inside the gas cover causing the vehicle to flip upward. The claimant fell off his motorcycle, hitting his head on the pavement. Both the plaintiff and his motorcycle suffered damage from the incident.
The claimant was taken by ambulance to the nearest hospital with complaints of neck and back injuries. Before the accident, the claimant had chronic back pain, as well as a history of neck pain. Therefore, the claimant was an eggshell claimant susceptible to accidental damage. As a result of the incident, the claimant received multiple rounds of treatment for her neck and back related injuries, including cervical disc replacement surgery. He also suffered a traumatic brain injury.
At the time of the accident, there were no warning cones or danger signs posted on the gas cover to warn customers that the cover was not secure and posed a hazard. It is important to note that this particular lid had been opened the day before by the gas station maintenance worker, who considered himself an independent contractor hired by the gas station to perform general maintenance work. The gas station tried to blame the 1099 independent contractor for performing negligent maintenance on the date before the incident. Through various written statements and discoveries, a legal argument emerged that the maintenance contractor may be a representative of the gas station and therefore hold them liable for their negligent acts.
The gas station used this tactic as a way to avoid liability, as it was their argument that they could not be held liable by the independent contractor and went far enough to file a cross-complaint against the contractor. However, Habbas and Akers built a case against the defense by presenting the business papers between the defendants and how that reflects an employer-employee relationship, regardless of the 1099 contract. Their argument concluded that if a jury accepted that the maintenance worker was considered an employee, the tenants would be vicariously liable for the negligent acts they have already alleged against the contractor.
The defense took the position of offering $ 0 to Plaintiff. The defense argued both, the liability and causation of the Plaintiff’s injuries. Habbas and Akers were able to force the defendants to accept responsibility and settle the case for $ 1,002,000.