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Motorcyclist injured in freeway accident involving employee with Irvine firm awarded $23 million – Orange County Register

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A jury this week ordered an Irvine auto firm and one of its mechanics to pay $23 million to a Culver City man seriously injured after the mechanic, lawyers argued, veered out of a carpool lane on the 405 Freeway while test-driving a car and struck the plaintiff’s motorcycle.

The Feb. 8, 2018, crash was captured on video by another motorcyclist’s helmet camera.

The Los Angeles Superior Court panel deliberated for most of Tuesday afternoon before reaching its verdict in the case brought by 28-year-old Matthew Rada against Hardin Irvine Automotive Inc. and its employee, Justin Dimapasac.

Defense attorneys admitted liability before trial and the jury was tasked only with assessing Rada’s damages.

Brian Panish, an attorney for the plaintiff, said he was pleased with the verdict: “It shows once again that the jury system works.”

Trial testimony said that Rada was riding his motorcycle south on the freeway near the Orange County/Long Beach border about 5:45 p.m. when the collision occurred.

“The initial impact sent plaintiff careening across three lanes of the 405 Freeway into a passing flatbed trailer,” Rada’s court papers say.

Dimapasac was test-driving a customer’s Kia Optima and should not have been driving in the carpool lane, said Andrew Owen, another plaintiff attorney.

The other motorcyclist stopped and voluntarily turned over the footage of the accident recorded on his helmet camera.

Rada suffered “life-changing injuries in the collision, including … several orthopedic fractures requiring multiple surgeries, chronic pain and commensurate mental and emotional distress,” the suit says.

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Jeff Stearman

Jeff has experienced much success in his many years as a Realtor, consistently ranking in the Top 1% of Realtors nationally as well as the Top Agent locally. Jeff also has an MBA and Graduate Realtor Institute (GRI) designation and is Certified Short Sale Specialist and Distressed Property Negotiator and Expert. Jeff has a firm grasp on today’s real estate market and is an expert in all areas of residential real estate, including: traditional sales, residential income properties, vacation properties, luxury homes, as well as distressed properties. Additionally, with his background in mortgage & financial consulting, Jeff can help you understand the numbers side of real estate and offer valuable advice on the different types of home loans and financing options that you could take advantage of. His clients say: "If you want something done, ask a busy Realtor.” The Stearman Group has successfully sold over 3,000 homes because they carefully work with their clients to create successful solutions. They strive to solve your individual housing needs-one client at a time. His team gives only the Best Personalized Service to each of their clients every single time.

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