San Bernardino, Calif. — Managing Partner, Samer Habbas and Associate Attorney, Kristina Akers of the Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates achieve a $1,002,000 premises liability settlement for a motorcycle accident. The claimant was driving out of the parking lot of a gas station at a very low speed. As she drove over an unsecured steel gas hose cover, her motorcycle got caught within the gas cover causing the vehicle to flip upwards. The claimant then fell off her motorcycle, striking her head onto the pavement. Both the claimant and her motorcycle sustained damage from the incident.
The claimant was taken by ambulance to the nearest hospital with complaints of neck and back injuries. Prior to the accident, the claimant had chronic back pain, as well as a history of neck pain. Therefore, the claimant was an eggshell plaintiff susceptible to further injury.
As a result of the incident, the claimant underwent multiple rounds of treatment for her neck and back-related injuries, including a cervical disc replacement surgery. She also suffered a mild traumatic brain injury.
At the time of the accident, there were no caution cones or hazard signs posted at the gas cover to warn customers that the lid was not secure and posed a danger. It is important to note that this particular lid had been opened the day before by the gas station’s maintenance worker—who was considered to be an independent contractor hired by the gas station to perform general maintenance work. The gas station tried to lay blame on the 1099 independent contractor for performing negligent maintenance on the date prior to the incident. Through several depositions and written discovery, a legal argument arose that the maintenance contractor may be an agent of the gas station and thus making them liable for his negligent acts.
The gas station used this tactic as a way to avoid full liability as it was their argument that they could not be held liable for 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 roles between the defendants and how that mirrors an employer-employee relationship, regardless of the 1099 contract hire. Their argument concluded that if a jury would agree the maintenance worker is considered to be an employee, the tenants would then be vicariously liable for the negligent acts they have already alleged against the contractor.
The defense took the position of offering $0 to the plaintiff. The defense argued both liability and causation of the plaintiff’s injuries. Habbas and Akers were able to force the defendants to accept responsibility and resolve the case for $1,002,000.
OVERGROWN TREE ON SIDEWALK CAUSES TRIP AND FALL ACCIDENT, LEADS TO LEG FRACTURE SURGERY IN LONG BEACH