When Ms. Danna crashed her Jeep into Dan Tarabochia’s pick-up truck, he was 50 years old and was an active commercial fisherman living in Lacey, Washington with his wife and two sons. Dan had been self-employed as a commercial fisherman for approximately 30 years. Because of a car crash where he was fault free, he sustained catastrophic injuries that would rob him of his lifelong calling as a fisherman.
In the early evening of October 6, 2011, Dan Tarabochia was driving his 2008 four-door truck east on Marvin Road, about half a mile east of the Costco store in Lacey, Washington. Dan and his son were on their way home.
The Tarabochias were in the right-hand (closest to the curb) eastbound lane. Dan slowed for a right-turning vehicle in front of him. As the Tarabochias waited for the vehicle to complete its turn, they were hit hard from behind by Kristina Danna, who was driving a late model Jeep. Ms. Danna’s vehicle struck the Tarabochia truck with enough force to knock Dan Tarabochia unconscious for a short time. Despite being seatbelted, Nick recalls hitting the front of his head on something as a result of the collision. Ms. Danna’s airbags were set off by the collision.
The impact caused significant damage to the Tarabochia truck, including damage to the steel frame. It cost $19,000 to repair the extensive damage. The truck was initially considered a total loss until a professional was found who could repair the bent frame.
Ms. Danna was crying after the crash. She told Dan Tarabochia that her father was in the military and was deployed, and that her step-mother would make her pay for this. Dan felt sorry for her and did not call the police.
Dan Tarabochia suffered significant ongoing injuries as a result of the collision, including the following:
- Traumatic cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak in the area of the exiting right nerve root at C3-4. The CSF leak extends from C2 to T1 and presses against the exiting left nerve root at C7-T1.
- Chronic spinal headaches caused by the CSF leak and resulting low spinal fluid pressure.
- Neck pain and cervical radicular pain and numbness on the left side.
- Low back pain radiating to his left leg, with numbness and pain in the left leg.
- Memory difficulty and other cognitive effects.
- Left shoulder pain, and tingling/numbness in his left arm.
- Post-concussive syndrome.
- Impaired balance, causing frequent falls.
The Honorable Jim Warme, a retired Cowlitz County Superior Court judge, has known Dan for 25 years. He officiated at Dan’s wedding. Judge Warme states that almost every time he has seen Dan since the collision, Dan complained about headaches. Judge Warme does not recall Dan complaining about headaches or any other physical disabilities before the collision.
As our attorneys proceeded to trial, the case settled for $1.5 million.