Garo Mardirossian Wins $32.1 million reward for parents of 13-year-old cyclist killed by bus in Redondo Beach

Posted on December. 29. 2021

A jury has awarded $21.6 million to the parents of a 13-year-old girl who was hit and killed by a subway bus in Redondo Beach in 2017, officials said.

In total, the jury’s decision resulted in a $32.1 million award awarded to Barry and Rose Smith and a $4.9 million settlement with Redondo Beach and the city of Caltrans, prosecutor Garo Mardirosian said Friday, November 12. The remaining monetary rewards, he said.

MV Transportation Inc., which owned and operated the bus, was the lone remaining defendant. Mardirosian said the verdict came after nine days of trial at the Spring Street Courthouse in downtown Los Angeles.

Jurors decided on a special judgment form that 75 percent of responsibility for Smith’s death fell to MV Transportation Inc., while 15 percent fell to the City of Redondo Beach and 10 percent to the state of California.

He ruled that Ciara Smith took no responsibility for his death.

“This family, especially Mom and Dad, is just devastated,” he said. “Their life will never be the same, they think of their little girl every day. He had talent in many fields and was loved by many. ,

MV Transportation Inc. Lawyers representing the U.S. did not return a request for comment. Representatives for MV Transportation Inc., CalTrans and the City of Redondo Beach also did not immediately return requests for comment.

Ciara Smith was riding her bicycle with a friend near the northwest corner of Pacific Coast Highway and Knob Hill Avenue on May 5, 2017 when, for an unknown reason, she traveled across the street and collided with a bus , Redondo Beach Police has said.

His friend was not injured.

Smith, known as “The Pineapple Princess”, was a Paras middle school student who was known for her outgoing personality, positive spirit, and passion for music, after friends, family, and school officials caused the accident. Said after. She earned the nickname for a saying she called “be a pineapple,” which meant “standing tall, wearing a crown and being sweet on the inside.”

Her parents sued in Los Angeles Superior Court five months after the accident, alleging that the intersection was dangerous and poorly designed and that the bus driver should have avoided hitting their daughter.
After the accident, the driver pulled over and cooperated with the police, officials said. No criminal charges were filed as a result of the accident.

“… the bus driver just made a mistake,” Mardirosyan said on Friday. “The family has forgiven him and understands that no one did this intentionally.”
Prosecutors also argued that the lanes along the PCH at that intersection were not wide enough, that the curbs cut at the northwest corner were dropped into the street and not the crosswalk, and that the crosswalk was not properly marked. Was.

According to court documents, the defense argued that the driver was not charged with any offense and was driving under the speed limit at the time of the collision. He also said that there were vehicles in the left lane, making it unsafe for the driver to make sudden moves to avoid hitting the girl.

Police said friends and family built a roadside memorial for Ciara Smith at the crossroads, but twice it was torn down by a woman, who was upset that the monument was on the same corner of the Los Angeles County Vietnam Veterans Memorial Highway. Interrupting the sign.

Then in September 2017, an ocean-view bench near The Esplanade and Avenue A was dedicated to Smith’s memory, along with a plaque that included his surname.

Months before Barry and Rose Smith filed their lawsuit, Mardirosian won a $35 million judgment for a former UCLA offensive lineman who lost one of his legs in a 2012 motorcycle collision at PCH and Diamond Street, a mile north. part was lost.

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