Huayanca v. Southland Transit District
On September 16, 2013, Panish Shea & Boyle LLP attorneys Tom Schultz, Spencer Lucas and Brian Panish obtained a $17,120,662 jury verdict for an 85-year-old man for injuries he sustained when he was hit by a Southland Transit Inc. bus resulting in the amputation of his right leg. The jury also found that the defendant bus company acted with malice, thus warranting the imposition of punitive damages.
On August 27, 2012, Julio Huayanca was crossing the street in a designated crosswalk when he was hit by a Southland Transit Inc. bus that was attempting to turn left through the crosswalk and failed to yield to pedestrians. The 36,500 pound bus came to a rest on top of Mr. Huayanca, causing him catastrophic injuries and ultimately resulting in the amputation of his right leg. During the litigation, it was discovered that the Southland Transit bus driver had 3 accidents in the 6 years before he hit Mr. Huayanca, had not received adequate driver training (even after receiving poor driving evaluations from his supervisor), and had failed to complete the state and federal minimum of 8 hours of annual driver training. Despite this, Southland Transit refused to admit liability for the accident until 6-weeks before trial.
Shortly after trial, Southland Transit paid Mr. Huayanca $15,000,000 in full settlement of the case.