PSB Obtains $2 Million Jury Verdict For Family of Elderly Man Killed in Crosswalk

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A Los Angeles County Superior Court jury awarded $2,029,592 to the adult children of an 89-year-old man who was tragically killed after being struck by a city-owned vehicle while crossing the street in Monterey Park, California. The Plaintiffs were represented at trial by Brian Panish, Tom Schultz and Candice Klein of Panish Shea & Boyle LLP. The plaintiffs were also represented in the case by Michael S. Yu.

On the morning of November 23, 2013, decedent Wen Zhao Ruan was walking home after purchasing a newspaper when a Ford F-350 owned by the City of Monterey Park negligently made a left turn at the intersection of S. Ynez Avenue and W. Newmark Avenue, striking the elderly pedestrian while in the marked crosswalk. Mr. Ruan was rushed to L.A. County USC Medical Center where he succumbed to his blunt force injuries.

Plaintiffs, the five adult children of Mr. Ruan, filed a wrongful death and survival action against the City of Monterey Park for the preventable death of their father. As described by his children, Mr. Ruan was a kind, benevolent, and loving family man who enjoyed traveling with them. Only two months prior to his death, Mr. Ruan flew from Los Angeles to China in order to attend his granddaughter’s wedding. At the time of the incident, Mr. Ruan was a happy and healthy senior citizen who had an exceptionally loving and close relationship with his children.

Prior to trial, the City of Monterey Park conceded that it was negligent in Mr. Ruan’s death but claimed that the decedent’s extremely short life expectancy at the time of his death should significantly limit damages. The jury felt otherwise and awarded over $2 million to Mr. Ruan’s children.

The City of Monterey Park was represented at trial by Steven J. Rothans and Jonathan D. Redford of Carpenter, Rothans & Dumont.