1. DOCKET NO.: 144608
2. COURT/BRANCH: SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA - COUNTY OF MERCED
3. CASE NAME: JAMES vs. FORD MOTOR COMPANY et al.
4. TRIAL TYPE: N/A
5. MEDIATOR Hon. Peter Stone (Ret.)
6. SETTLEMENT DATE: February 3, 2003
7. TYPE OF CASE: Auto Accident – Personal Injury
8. SETTLEMENT AMOUNT:
$ 1,000,000.00 – County of Merced Under Confidential Agreement –Ford Motor Co.
9. COUNSEL A. Plaintiff:
Omar I. Habbas, Esq.
Habbas, Amendola & Nasseri
675 N. First Street, Suite 100
San Jose, CA 95112
Plaintiff: Steven J. Brewer, Esq.
Gwilliam, Ivary, Chiosso, Cavalli &
1999 Harrison Street, Suite 1600
Oakland, CA 94612
Parties Represented: Marlene James
B. Defense: Michael L. Mason, Esq.
William E. Gnass, Esq.
Mason, Robbins, Gnass & Browning
700 Loughborough Drive
Merced, CA 95344
Office: (209) 383-9334
Fax: (209) 383-9386
Parties Represented: County of Merced
Defense: Janice O'Grady, Esq.
Melinda Garcia, Esq.
Bowman & Brooke
160 West Santa Clara St., Suite 1150
San Jose, CA 95113
Office: (408) 279-5393
Fax: (408) 279-5845
Parties Represented: Ford Motor Company
10. PARTIES: Plaintiff: Marlene James
Defendant's: County of Merced
Ford Motor Company
11. FACTS: On November 21, 1999 at approximately midnight, plaintiff suffered life altering paraplegia when she missed a curve on Franklin Road at Southern Pacific Road in Merced County, California. Plaintiffs' 1994 Ford Escort slid off the roadway into a cow pasture, where it rolled over one time, coming to rest on its wheels. Plaintiff was the seat belted driver of the vehicle. Her passengers, one seat belted, the other not, walked away from the accident. Plaintiff is a paraplegic as a result of the combination of a dangerous and defective roadway and a dangerous and defective automobile.
12. CLAIMED INJURIES: Plaintiff suffered a spinal cord injury at T11/T12, which caused complete obliteration of the spinal cord below that level, leaving her paralyzed.
13: CLAIMED DAMAGES: Plaintiff incurred $450,079.79 in medical expenses; future loss of earnings and loss of household services of $820,715.00; and requires a Life Care Plan which will cost approximately $971,134.00.
14: COMMENTS: Case was mediated with Hon. Peter Stone (Ret.) Settled with County of Merced for $1,000,000.00 Settled with Ford Motor Company under a Confidentiality Agreement.