John Doe, a 68-year-old retired UC Berkeley manager and his wife Jane, a 66-year-old retired school teacher, had been married for over 40 years, and were in excellent health. They enjoyed an active and fulfilling retirement life, and especially loved taking care of their grandchildren.
On October 24, 2015, they were guests at an annual celebration hosted by the Defendants at their Napa Valley vineyard. At the end of the party, one of the Defendants drove John and Jane in her all-terrain vehicle (“ATV”) to their car parked at the bottom of the hill. The couple sat on a bench seat in the ATV, which had no seat belts. The Defendant drove down a narrow road and hit a bump, causing her to fall out of the ATV and leave John and Jane alone in the vehicle as it careened out of control down the hill.
Their terrifying descent ended when the ATV slammed into a car at the bottom of the hill. The impact threw Jane onto the ground, where she struck her head and lost consciousness. John’s head struck the steering wheel. Jane suffered a mild traumatic brain injury, a broken femur which required multiple surgeries to repair, a broken nose, and a broken heel. John suffered a broken humerus in his shoulder which required surgery, a lacerated lip, and post-concussion syndrome.
After months of painful rehabilitation, John and Jane went on to make satisfactory recoveries from their injuries. However, the incident has had a lasting impact on their retirement and recreational activities which they had greatly looked forward to enjoying in their “golden years.”
Minami Tamaki partners B. Mark Fong (lead counsel) and Dale Minami settled John and Jane’s claims for personal injury against the ATV owners for $1 million (the limit of their liability insurance), plus an additional $350,000 paid personally by the owners.