Motorcyclist Awarded $615K Following Damages Trial Stemming From Car Crash

Posted by David Siegel on Feb 7, 2020 9:17:30 AM

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CVN screenshot of plaintiff attorney Keith Bruno delivering his closing argument

Ventura, CA - A California state court jury on Thursday awarded $615,000 to a man who had part of his foot amputated following a collision with his motorcycle and an oncoming car, after the defendant admitted liability for the accident.

Plaintiff Joel Larson sued defendant Brigid Mary O’reilly following a 2018 accident on California Route 150, when O'reilly's Ford Focus vehicle collided with Larson's Ducati motorcycle.

O'reilly stipulated prior to the trial that she bore responsibility for the collision, leaving a Ventura County jury to determine only what amount of damages Larson deserved for injuries that led to the amputation of his big toe.

Larson's attorneys asked for roughly $13.6 million in compensatory damages, arguing the loss of his big toe will substantially impact his quality of life moving forward, and that he will continue to require medical treatment for ongoing pain from the injury.

O'reilly's attorneys maintained the claims of Larson's injuries were exaggerated, asking jurors to award up to $350,000 in non-economic damages, arguing that since the accident he has taken numerous vacations and continues to ride his motorcycle.

The full trial was recorded gavel-to-gavel by Courtroom View Network, and video of the full proceedings is available to subscribers as part of CVN’s online video library, along with numerous personal injury trials from throughout California and the rest of the country.

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Marjorie E. Motooka of the Law Offices of Wolf, O’Connor & Myers who represented O’reilly on behalf of Liberty Mutual Group Inc. told CVN after the trial that she was pleased with the outcome of the case.

“I think the jury came to a well-thought out, well-reasoned decision,” she said in an e-mail. “You can’t ask for more than that.”

O’reilly was also represented by Sanaz Alami of the same firm.

Attorneys for Larson declined to comment.

Motooka objected to video coverage of the trial and filed a motion seeking to exclude electronic news media from the courtroom during the proceedings, but the request was overruled by Judge Mark Borrell.

Larson was represented at trial by Stephen McElroy and Keith Bruno of Carpenter Zuckerman & Rowley.

The case is captioned Joel Larson v. Brigid Mary O’reilly, case number 56-2018-00518091-CU-PA-VTA in Ventura County Superior Court.

E-mail David Siegel at

Correction: A previous story incorrectly stated the plaintiff in this case had his foot amputated. The plaintiff's large toe was amputated, not the entire foot. The earlier version of the story also incorrectly stated the amount of damages requested by the defense. CVN regrets the errors.  

Topics: Transportation, California