'Heart of the Community' ER Nurse Awarded $22 Million by Ventura Jury
LOS ANGELES, March 12 /PRNewswire/ -- A civil jury returned with the largest personal injury award in Ventura County history, late Friday afternoon, just before the Ventura County Hall of Justice closed its doors for the weekend. The plaintiff was Dawn Renae Diaz, a 38-year-old single mother of a 10-year-old daughter and the head emergency room nurse at Community Memorial Hospital in Ventura, CA. In a tragic twist of fate, as the result of severe brain damage suffered in a January 20, 2006 automobile accident, Diaz now herself requires round-the-clock care and supervision by her fellow nurses.
Of the $22,566,373.00 awarded by the jury to Diaz, over $16 million is to go to pay for past and future medical and nursing care. Co-workers, both doctors and nurses, described Diaz as a hardworking and dedicated care giver and professional and the "heart of the community." Dr. John Howard, an ER doctor from Community Memorial Hospital testified: "She was the best nurse I'd ever worked with. When she was in charge or just around, everything in the ER was perfect. She was a real patient's advocate, especially if you were critically injured. Dawn Diaz was the nurse you'd want to take care of you."
Now, Diaz lives with her mother in a manufactured home and, due to her injuries, has lost custody of her daughter. Since the accident, her care is being provided by the same nurses with whom she previously worked side-by-side. Each one has volunteered their services. The accident took place on the Conejo Grade of the 101 Freeway in Camarillo. A Peterbilt box truck was occupying the middle of the three southbound lanes, traveling 55 mph, causing a pickup truck driven by Karen Tagliaferri to attempt to pass the Peterbilt. The two vehicles collided, resulting in the pickup jumping over the center divider and landing on top of Diaz's vehicle which was traveling in the opposite direction. The driver of the Peterbilt, Jose Gerardo Carcamo, was employed by Sugar Transport of the Northwest delivering wine from South Gate.
Diaz was represented by the father-daughter trial team of Larry and Katie Grassini, along with attorney Don Liddy, all of the Woodland Hills law firm of Grassini & Wrinkle.
|SOURCE Grassini & Wrinkle|
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