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DEFENDANT’S Premises Liability – Falling Object – Pole at gas pump dislodges and falls on plaintiff – Injuries to neck, back and shoulder.

Superior Court of San Diego County, San Diego

In this matter, a woman sued for personal injury after being struck by a pole at a gas pump. Both the defendant gas company and the maintenance denied liability in the matter.

The plaintiff Rhonda M. asserted that a retractor pole dislodged from the side of a gas pump at a BP gas station in San Diego, California. The plaintiff stated that the pole struck her back, shoulder and head, causing her severe neurologic and orthopedic injuries.

The case was brought against BP West Coast Products, the subsidiary of the large multinational oil company BP for the allegedly faulty gas pump and Northwest Pump and Equipment Company, the company contracted to maintain the pump. The personal injury action was filed in the Superior Court of San Diego County, with the plaintiff seeking recovery of past and future medical treatment. A consortium claim was also filed by the Rhonda M.’s husband and co-plaintiff Ronnie M.

After moving for summary adjudication, the defense team successfully obtained voluntary dismissal of the product liability and intentional tort causes of action, as well as the claim for punitive damages. On the eve of trial, the case was resolved respecting claims against the oil company.

Trial was held respecting the case against the maintenance company, Northwest Pump and Equipment Company. The two week trial saw testimony from experts on mechanical engineering and safety, as well as plaintiffs and defendants damage’s experts. The plaintiff’s medical expert Gene Bruno placed her long-term life care plan at $10 million.At the conclusion of trial, the jury deliberated approximately one hour before returning a verdict in favor of the defendant maintenance company.

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