M.A.M. v. O.B.M., Inc. & R.P.
In one of the most tragic cases that we have ever worked on, the Williamson Law Firm was retained as co-counsel in an automobile/truck accident case that resulted in the death of a mother and her daughter.
On March 16, 2011, R. P. was working as a truck driver for O.B.M., Inc. The weather was clear, sunny and dry. That morning, he drove his company truck to the City of Industry to pick up a load of building materials. After picking up the load, he intended to return to the O.B.M. truck yard in Riverside. He was traveling on the Pomona Freeway in the No. 3 lane (out of 5 lanes including a carpool lane) at approximately 50-55 miles per hour. Traffic was light at the time.
R. P. claimed he turned on his right turn-signal in order to change lanes from the No. 3 lane into the No. 4 lane. He further claimed that he didn’t see anyone in the No. 4 lane and began to make the lane change. Suddenly, he saw a light blue car (decedent’s vehicle) swerve from the No. 4 lane heading north towards the center divider. Most importantly, R. P. claimed that his truck never made contact with any portion of the light blue car. The light blue vehicle headed across the east-bound lanes on a 45-degree angle towards the freeway center divider where it was struck by another vehicle. As a result of this horrific accident M. A. and her daughter, D.A. tragically lost their lives.
California Highway Patrol Officers arrived at the scene and inspected R. P.’s truck. They made two critical observations: 1) a fresh scuff mark to the right front tire of the truck, and 2) fresh light blue/teal paint scuff marks to the right front and left front corner of the front bumper. The scuff marks matched the color of the decedent’s vehicle. R. P. claimed that the damage was probably old (it possibly happened at his work yard) and not related to this accident.
After R. P., and his employer, O.B.M., Inc., denied they were responsible for the accident, we filed suit on behalf of M. A.’s son and D. A.’s father. As part of our investigation of this accident, we learned that R. P. had been involved in a nearly identical accident that had been determined to be his fault. We also retained various experts to help prove our clients’ case including an accident reconstruction and mechanical system analyst and a chemist with experience in coatings, adhesives and chemicals to analyze the paint transfer on the truck.
After extensive litigation involving a battle of experts and, despite the disputed liability, we were able to resolve the case for $3 million dollars.