Bisnar Chase Secures $3 Million Jury Verdict for Client with Traumatic Brain Injury

Bisnar Chase obtains $3 million jury award for their client, Joseph Butenhoff, who suffered a permanent brain injury in a Long Beach pedestrian accident.
By: Bisnar Chase
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. - Aug. 14, 2015 - PRLog -- The California personal injury law firm of Bisnar Chase secured $3 million in damages for a client who had suffered permanent brain damage in a pedestrian accident in December 2012. According to the lawsuit (Case No. BC521696), filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, the incident occurred Dec.3, 2012 in the northbound lanes of Palo Verde in Long Beach. The jury verdict came in Aug. 12.

Witnesses who saw the incident said several cars had stopped in the northbound lanes because Joseph Butenhoff's friend's dog had been hit by a car and was lying in the roadway, court documents state. Butenhoff was in the street trying to monitor traffic so his friend and the injured dog would not be hit, the lawsuit said.

The defendant in this case, Rae Anne Bautista, who was driving a blue Nissan Xterra, sped up, swerved into the southbound lanes and hit Butenhoff, the lawsuit states. Butenhoff ended up on the hood of the Xterra and was thrown 25 feet away from the point of impact, according to the complaint. He suffered several injuries including lacerations, a lung contusion, a fracture and a traumatic brain injury, according to court documents.

Jurors determined that even though Butenhoff violated the law by being in the middle of the street, he was a Good Samaritan who was rescuing an injured dog and that Bautista's reckless driving and negligence caused his injury, said H. Gavin Long, Bisnar Chase's lead trial attorney on the case.

"Jurors recognized that our client was the Good Samaritan here," he said. "He was out in the street trying to help his friend and rescue the dog. Here he was, putting himself in harm's way, to help a suffering dog. We also had a witness testify that the driver was speeding and driving recklessly at the time."

Bautista's insurer, Allstate Insurance, denied Butenhoff's $875,000 claim and offered $100,000. The jury awarded Butenhoff $3 million. Long said Butenhoff's brain injury was classified as "moderate," but it left him with permanent disabilities.

"Our client's traumatic brain injury led to cognitive deficits characterized by loss of memory, selective attention and other deficits, which required therapy," he said. "He was able to continue to work, but in a different capacity and we were able to show the jury that he was a different man in terms of his abilities and behavior. He can never be the same man he was before this injury."

Long said he derived much satisfaction from being able to help a seriously injured client, especially someone with such a good heart. "It also felt good to prove the insurance company wrong, which in this case, made a final offer of $100,000," he said. "I'm pleased that the jury made the right decision to award these damages to our deserving client."

Bisnar Chase represents injured plaintiffs in California and has collected over $250M in settlements and verdicts. The firm has top rated attorneys practicing in car accidents, auto defects, and product liability and has been featured in the national media. Brian Chase is the current president of the CAOC.

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Location:Newport Beach - California - United States
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Page Updated Last on: Aug 19, 2015
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