On July 14, 2012, Nick Ekbatani – then 25 years old and a recent
offensive lineman on the UCLA football team -- was riding his motorcycle
northbound on Pacific Coast Highway, in Redondo Beach, at the posted speed
limit of 35 mph. A United Taxi driver was traveling southbound on Pacific
Coast Highway, and was making a left turn toward eastbound Diamond Street.
The collision occurred when the United Taxi driver “cut the corner”
while attempting his left turn, and collided with Mr. Ekbatani. The taxi
driver stated that he never saw or heard the motorcycle prior to impact.
It is undisputed that Nick Ekbatani did not bear fault in causing the
As a result of the crash Mr. Ekbatani suffered injuries including the traumatic
amputation of his lower left leg. He underwent 13 surgeries to his left
leg since the incident, and he faces additional surgeries in the future.
A thorough investigation by Mardirossian & Associates disclosed that
the roadway design at this intersection made it difficult for the left
turning driver and an oncoming motorcyclist to see one another during
a critical phase of the sequence of events. Mardirossian & Associates
thus brought Caltrans into the lawsuit as a defendant, upon a theory of
a dangerous roadway design. After Mardirossian & Associates presented
extensive evidence and expert testimony at trial the jury agreed, finding
Caltrans to bear the predominant fault in causing the collision and Mr.
Ekbatani’s resulting injuries.
By establishing liability on behalf of both United Taxi and Caltrans, Mardirossian
& Associates was able to recover for Mr. Ekbatani $35 million –
the largest verdict for a motorcycle case in California history.