Jury orders Irvine mechanic and employee to pay Culver City resident Matthew Rada
By Sam Catanzaro
An auto dealer and one of its mechanics must pay a Culver City man over $20 million after the mechanic struck the victim’s motorcycle while test-driving a car on the 405 freeway.
On Tuesday, December 4 a Los Angeles Superior Court jury ordered defendant Hardin Irvine Automotive Inc. and its employee Justin Dimapasac to pay 28-year-old plaintiff Matthew Rada $21.5 million in damages for the 2018 crash.
The incident occurred on February 8, 2018, on the San Diego (405) Freeway around 5:45 p.m. near the Los Angeles County-Orange County border. Captured on film by another motorcyclist’s helmet camera, Dimapasac veered out of the HOV lane, colliding with Rada, sending him careening across three lanes of the 405.
As argued by Rada’s attorneys during the trial, Dimapasac — who was test-driving a customer’s vehicle — should not have been in the HOV lane, to begin with.
Rada suffered “life-changing injuries in the collision, including … several orthopedic fractures requiring multiple surgeries, chronic pain and commensurate mental and emotional distress,” according to the suit.
“He spent more than two weeks at UC Irvine Medical Center where he underwent numerous surgeries followed by two weeks of inpatient rehabilitation. A graphic designer at Schuberth North America before the incident, Mr. Rada’s functional limitations and chronic pain, compounded with the commensurate mental and emotional distress caused by the collision, have left him unable to perform the work he used to do,” said Panish Shea & Boyle LLP attorneys Brian Panish, Andrew Owen, and Matthew Stumpf who represented Rada.
Defendants Hardin Irvine Automotive Inc. and Justin Dimapasoc were represented in the case and at trial by Kurt A. Schlichter, William A. Percy and Roberto R. Martinez of Schlichter & Shonack, LLP.