California Accident Lawsuit Resulted in $49M Verdict

An auto accident lawsuit in California has resulted in a $49 million verdict against a man who is currently in prison as a result of the incident, which killed one man and left a police officer disabled. 

Jeremy White of Paso Robles, California is currently serving a 15-year sentence handed down in 2008 for an accident near Ventura that killed Andres Parra and left California Highway Patrol Officer Anthony Pedeferri a quadriplegic. Late last month a Ventura County jury distributed liability for the accident between White and Bert’s Mega Mall, whose employees were determined to be partly responsible for the accident.

The accident occurred on December 19, 2007, on Highway 101. Pedeferri had Parra pulled over on a traffic stop and was talking to him through the window of his SUV when a truck being driven by White slammed into them. White alleged that the accident occurred when he was distracted by two dirt bikes that were not tied down well in the back of his truck. The bikes were placed in the truck by employees of Bert’s Mega Mall.

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White pled guilty to charges of driving while intoxicated and transporting marijuana when he was charged for the accident in 2008.

The Ventura County jury awarded Pedeferri and his wife, Carrie, $39 million, and also awarded Parra’s parents $10.2 million. The jury agreed that the bikes had been a distraction and a factor in the accident and determined that Bert’s Mega Mall was responsible for one-third of the award.

According to a report last month by the Los Angeles Times, Bert’s Mega Mall attorneys said they intend to appeal the decision.


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