“Thomas” and “Emma” were returning home from the restaurant they own in Newport Beach when they were struck by “Danny,” a 19-year-old recklessly speeding in his father’s BMW M3. Before getting in the M3, Danny had been drinking alcohol with friends on his uncle’s yacht.
Both Thomas and Emma were hospitalized, and Emma remained in the hospital for over a month. Emma required seven surgeries to address her multiple fractures and nerve damage. She temporarily lost the use of her left hand.
In addition to causing severe injuries to Thomas and Emma, Danny’s recklessness also injured the three passengers in his M3, including causing his friend in the passenger seat to sustain a broken leg. There was only $500,000 in coverage on Danny’s M3 to cover the injuries sustained by Thomas, Emma, and Danny’s three passengers. As a 19-year-old convicted felon, Danny had no income or assets.
To complicate matters further, neither Thomas nor Emma had health insurance since private insurance was costly due to their self-employment. Within a matter of weeks, their collective medical bills exceeded $700,000. The restaurant closed for several days. Thomas, the restaurant’s chef, was unable to work during Emma’s lengthy hospitalization.
Coast Law Group discovered Danny had crashed another vehicle owned by his father prior to this collision. Coast Law Group brought a claim against Danny’s father for negligent entrustment of the M3. Coast Law Group identified a $1,000,000 umbrella policy which provided coverage for the negligent entrustment claim specifically. Additionally, Coast Law Group was successful in obtaining a portion of the settlement proceeds from the insurance on Danny’s uncle’s yacht, although coverage was initially denied. Coast Law Group successfully obtained $1,325,000 in payments from the three insurance carriers—Danny’s automobile carrier, Danny’s father’s umbrella policy, and Danny’s uncle’s yacht carrier. Coast Law Group strategically structured the payments to Thomas and Emma to maximize their net settlements and pay their outstanding medical bills.
After the conclusion of the civil litigation against Danny’s father and with a contribution from the yacht carrier, Coast Law Group pursued criminal restitution against Danny for Thomas and Emma’s additional damages. After hard-fought litigation in the criminal court, Coast Law Group obtained a restitution award against Danny for Thomas and Emma of $630,000. Danny will never be able to discharge that restitution award in bankruptcy.