$21.6 Million Jury Verdict in Tragic Death of Child in Failure to Yield to Cyclist

Ciara Smith, 13, was riding her bike with her friend in Redondo Beach, Cal. When Ciara came to the Pacific Coast Highway, she intended to use the crosswalk to cross the roadway. Ciara left the curb ramp and her handlebar came in contact with the right side of a bus.

Ciara was thrown from her bike, fell under the rear tires of the bus and suffered fatal injuries. She was survived by her parents.

The Smith family sued MV Transportation Inc., alleging liability for the negligence of its bus driver for choosing not to yield the right-of-way and avoiding a collision with Ciara. The lawsuit also alleged MV Transportation failed to properly train the bus driver.

The Smith family also sued the city of Redondo Beach, alleging that the crosswalk lines were so faded that they were barely visible, leaving Ciara unaware that she was in a dangerous place.

In addition, the lawsuit maintained that the state of California was liable for the design of the curb ramp, which the Smith family argued directed users into the path of moving motor vehicles.

The Smith family settled with the state of California for $4.9 million before trial. In a pretrial settlement conference, the city of Redondo Beach agreed to pay $4.9 million as well. The jury signed a verdict for $21.6 million, finding that MV Transportation was 75% at fault, with the city being responsible for 15% and the State of California 10%.

In preparation and at trial, the Smith family engaged experts in commercial vehicles, accident reconstruction and biomechanics.

The attorneys successfully handling this tragic lawsuit were Garo Mardirossian and Lawrence Marks.

Smith v. MV Transp., Inc., Nos. BC680763, BC692297 (Cal. Super. Ct. Los Angeles County).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling wrongful death lawsuits, bicycle accident cases, truck accident lawsuits, and traumatic injury lawsuits for individuals, families and loved ones who have been injured, harmed or killed by the carelessness or negligence of another for more than 45 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Rolling Meadows, Romeoville, Joliet, Waukegan, Lake Zurich, Gurnee, Mount Prospect, Palatine, Winfield, Wheaton, Chicago (East Garfield Park, South Shore, West Town, Back of the Yards, Little Italy, Chinatown, Greek Town, Wrigleyville, Bronzeville, Hegewisch, South Side), Hinsdale, Alsip, South Holland, Park Ridge and Des Plaines, Ill.

Robert D. Kreisman has been an active member of the Illinois and Missouri bars since 1976.

Related blog posts:

$14.58 Million Jury Verdict for Bicycle Rider’s Neck Fracture When Driver Negligently Turned Left at Intersection

$6 Million Settlement Plus Funds to Improve Street Safety After Bicyclist’s Death Leads to Overhaul of Safety Policies

$4.5 Million Settlement Reached in Fatal Injury to Bicyclist