Madera, CA – A jury of the Madera County Superior Court recently handed down a record-setting verdict of $21,513,000 to Jose Maclovio. This is the largest plaintiff’s verdict of any kind that has ever been reached in Madera County.
The verdict, won by Dunnion Law, stems from a 2015 motor vehicle accident case where the van in which Maclovio rode as a passenger was violently rear-ended. When doctors told Maclovio, a Madera resident and father of one, that he was paralyzed from the neck down, he was just 18 years old.
“Maclovio was a young father who dropped out of school and took a tough job in the fields so he could provide for his new family,” said Connell Dunnion, Esq. and Principal at Dunnion Law. “His quadriplegia has taken away his ability to be the providing and protecting father he wanted to be.”
Since the police accident report stated the driver, Craig Brewer, was clearly at fault for the rear-end collision, liability was not in question. As such, State Farm offered to pay the full $25,000 limit on Brewer’s policy but refused to offer any further compensation. With the insurer refusing to accept any further liability, and his prospects for work virtually eliminated, Maclovio sought legal help from Dunnion Law to obtain recovery from Brewer and State Farm.
Despite the clear and dry road conditions of that day, Brewer, the former owner of Madera business Craig’s Painting, continued to drive at nearly 55 mph rather than brake even though the van ahead - containing Maclovio and six others - was clearly stopped. As a result, his vehicle crashed at high spend into the rear of the van, crushing the van and catastrophically injuring its occupants.
(Image: Van where Maclovio was seated on the right-hand side of the rear row.)
Dunnion Law discovered in its research and investigation that Brewer had two misdemeanors for driving under the influence (DUIs). The second incident, in which Brewer’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was recorded at more than 4 times the California legal limit of .08, occurred just five months after the accident that disabled Maclovio for life. Despite this driving record, Dunnion Law found Brewer to be grossly underinsured for his assets, including his vehicle.
In preparation for trial, Maclovio’s attorneys, Denis Delja, Esq. and Connell Dunnion, Esq., pursued general damages that included loss of enjoyment of life, grief, emotional distress and mental suffering. All of these are losses that Maclovio has already experienced and is expected to experience in the future.
Before the accident, Maclovio, his girlfriend and his daughter had moved into a new home to start their life together as a young family. Just one week after they had begun their independent life together, the accident brought that life to a halt. Unable to earn a living to support his young family, Maclovio was forced to move with his young family to live in his parent’s home.
As the former patriarch, Maclovio is now dependent on his family for his daily care. Once the playful and caring father, he can no longer hug his daughter, take her to the park, do her hair, feed her, bathe her or support her as he once did. His ongoing care, including feeding, dressing and bathing now requires the daily assistance of others. Even sleeping requires that he be turned regularly to prevent the development of bed sores.
After nearly a year of providing care for him and his daughter, his girlfriend ended their relationship and moved out with their daughter. During the trial, Dunnion Law drew a compelling picture of the invaluable loss of the relationships, the self-image and the independence that no longer exist for Maclovio.
After just an hour of deliberation, the jury awarded the full amount of $21,513,000 that Dunnion Law asked for on behalf of Maclovio.