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Mr. Be, who was 41 years old, was rendered a quadriplegic and also suffered severe brain damage when a tire disengaged from a Magirus truck, went over the center divider of the Long Beach freeway and crashed into the roof of the 1991 Toyota pick up truck in which he was riding as a passenger. Mrs. Be also sued for loss of consortium. Mr. Be incurred past medical expenses of $668,000. His future medical expenses were projected at over $2,000,000. He also claimed loss of income both past and future of more than a million dollars.

Mr. and Mrs. Be were represented by Thomas Girardi and Christina Nyhan of Girardi & Keese. Plaintiffs contended that the roof of the Toyota was defectively designed and manufactured. Specifically, plaintiffs contended that the roof was too thin and that it was not properly welded.

The case was tried in Norwalk and presided over by Judge John Torribio. Mr. Winterman was successful in having the case bifurcated. The liability phase of the case lasted three weeks. The jury began their deliberations on December 23, 1993, and ultimately returned a defense verdict for Toyota, Mr. Winterman’s client. A $12,000,000 verdict was awarded to plaintiffs against other defendants in the case.