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Bean v. Pacific Coast Elevator Corp.

California Court of Appeals, Fourth District, First Division

March 10, 2015

DANIEL WILLIAM BEAN, Plaintiff and Respondent,
v.
PACIFIC COAST ELEVATOR CORPORATION, Defendant and Appellant.

[CERTIFIED FOR PARTIAL PUBLICATION [*]]

APPEAL from an order and a judgment of the Superior Court of San Diego County, Nos. 37-2010-00061992-CU-PA-NC & 37-2010-00061759-CL-PO-NC Gregory W. Pollack, Judge.

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COUNSEL

Tucker Ellis & West and Rebecca Ann Lefler for Defendant and Appellant.

Endemen, Lincoln, Turek & Heater, Kenneth C. Turek; Taylor & Company Law Offices and Joshua R. Benson for Plaintiff and Respondent.

OPINION

AARON, J.

I.

INTRODUCTION

Eric Lazear, an employee of appellant Pacific Coast Elevator Corporation (Pacific Coast), ran his vehicle into respondent Daniel William Bean's truck while Bean was stopped at a red light. Bean suffered serious injuries as a result of the accident and sued Pacific Coast. A jury found Pacific Coast negligent and awarded Bean $1, 271, 594.74 in damages, including $126, 594.74 in economic damages, and $1, 145, 000 in noneconomic damages. The trial court denied Pacific Coast's motion for new trial, granted Bean's motion for prejudgment interest, and awarded Bean $34, 830 in costs. The court entered judgment in the amount of $1, 306, 424.74 in Bean's favor and ordered prejudgment interest to be calculated on the entire judgment.

On appeal, Pacific Coast contends that the jury's noneconomic damage award is excessive, that the trial court erred in instructing the jury on the basic speed law, and that Bean's counsel committed misconduct during the trial. Pacific Coast further contends that the trial court abused its discretion in finding that Bean's Code of Civil Procedure section 998[1] pretrial offer to settle was reasonable and made in good faith. Finally, Pacific Coast claims that the trial court erred in awarding prejudgment interest on costs.

In the published portion of this opinion, we agree that the trial court erred in awarding prejudgment interest on costs, and in the unpublished portion of this opinion, we reject the remainder of Pacific Coast's claims. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment only insofar as it awards prejudgment interest ...


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