Man Gets Injured by Parking Gate as His Apartment and Wins $1 Million Settlement

A man in Los Angeles was involved in an automatic gate accident that could have cost him his life. In these types of cases, it’s often true that more than one party is liable. The property owner or lessor may be responsible if they ignored needed repairs, the company that made the gate may be liable if the gate had a defective part, and sometimes even the person who was injured is partially responsible. Read on to learn about one premises liability accident involving a parking gate. If you’ve been injured in a similar accident, reach out to Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas at 909-982-0707 for a free legal consultation.

The facts of the case

The accident took place around 4:30 on the afternoon of November 13th, 2013. The victim, a man named Chon Ho Park, drove down the driveway at his complex and as he got closer to the automatic gate, be became aware that it wasn’t working correctly. He watched it open and close several times, at which point he called his landlord to find out what he was supposed to do.

The landlord advised the victim to turn off the switch for the automatic gate so that he could look at it later in the day. The victim did so, but couldn’t find a switch. He walked to the exterior of the gate to find it and the switch was within the exterior plastic housing of the motor. The victim was on the phone with his landlord when he reached through metal bars to get to the switch, at which point the gate closed on his arm and his wrist. The result was several broken bones.

The plaintiff’s side of the story

The plaintiff’s legal team argued that the landlord was at-fault because he didn’t have the automatic gate in good condition. The plaintiff said that the gate wasn’t safe and that the landlord had no schedule to inspect it or assure that it was working properly.

The defendant’s side of the story

The defendant’s legal team argued that he had the property inspected regularly. They also said that there had been issues with the gate before, but that he’d called a gate repair company as soon as he’d become aware of them. Finally, the defendant argued that the plaintiff was liable for his own injury because he put his arm through the bars of the gate.

The result of the trial

The trial went on for seven days and the jury deliberated for a single day. They found in the favor of the plaintiff and returned a verdict of over $1 million. However, they also found that plaintiff was 45% responsible for his injury. As is the case in California, this reduced his award by 45% to a total of just over $550,000. The plaintiff and defendant subsequently settled for $500,000 so that the defendant wouldn’t appeal the decision of the jury.