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Tentative Ruling
Judge Pauline Maxwell
Department 6 SB-Anacapa
1100 Anacapa Street P.O. Box 21107 Santa Barbara, CA 93121-1107


Anthony Cavagnaro vs Samuel Freeman

Case No: 16CV04737
Hearing Date: Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:30

Nature of Proceedings: Minor's Compromise


For the reasons set forth herein, the petition to approve the minor’s compromise is granted.


On December 3, 2015, plaintiff Anthony Cavagnaro, now age 16, was injured while traveling westbound on Carpinteria Avenue, in Carpinteria, in the intersection with Palm Avenue when there was a collision with a Chevy pick-up driven by defendant Samuel Freeman. (Petition, ¶¶ 5, 6.) There is a dispute between the parties as to the details of the collision. According to Cavagnaro, Cavagnaro was struck by the pick-up; according to Freeman, Freeman immediately stopped the vehicle when he saw Cavagnaro traveling across the intersection and Cavagnaro struck the pick-up. (Petition, ¶ 6.)

As a result of the accident, Cavagnaro suffered a right knee sprain and a contusion on his right knee, a contusion on the back of his right shoulder, and experienced an aggravation of his pre-existing, chronic low back pain. (Petition, ¶ 7.) Cavagnaro received treatment following the accident and for a time thereafter. (Petition, ¶ 8 & attachment 8.) Cavagnaro has now completely recovered from the effects of the injuries and there are no permanent injuries. (Petition, ¶ 9(a).)

On October 20, 2016, Cavagnaro filed his original complaint in this action by and through his Guardian ad Litem. On December 5, 2016, Freeman filed his answer to the complaint, generally denying the allegations of the complaint and asserting four affirmative defenses.

The parties reached a settlement, subject to approval by the court, by which plaintiff is to be paid $15,000 in exchange for a release of all claims, a dismissal with prejudice, with each side to bear their own attorney fees and costs. (Petition, ¶ 11.)

Plaintiff has incurred $10,270 in medical expenses, of which $4,479 is to be paid out of the settlement in full satisfaction of such expenses. (Petition, ¶¶ 13(a), (b)(4), (b)(5) & attachments.) Plaintiff’s counsel has incurred $2,050 in expenses in connection with this action. (Petition, ¶ 14(b).) Pursuant to a written fee agreement for a 25 percent contingency, plaintiff seeks approval of payment from the settlement proceeds for attorney fees of $3,238. (Petition, ¶ 14(a).)

Deducting from the settlement the medical expenses and attorney fees and costs, the net settlement to plaintiff is $5,233, which is to be placed in a blocked account. (Petition, ¶¶ 16, 17, 19(b).)

Based upon the evidence presented, the court finds the settlement and disposition of proceeds to be fair, reasonable, and in the best interests of the claimant. The court will approve the settlement and grant the petition.

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