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Jury Awards $900,000 to Cyclist Hit by Car

A jury has awarded more than $900,000 to a young bicyclist who was struck in an Irvine crosswalk six years ago by a motorist who ran a red light.

Jurors deliberated four days before finding motorist Dana Perry negligent in the July 20, 1990, accident involving Facundo Bermudez, who was 12 at the time, said Daniel M. Hodes, the boy’s lawyer.

The same Orange County Superior Court jury on Monday rejected malpractice allegations against a Long Beach orthopedist and deadlocked on whether another Long Beach physician who also treated the Irvine boy committed malpractice.

The boy was riding his bike from a discount store when Perry, traveling about 40 mph, ran a red light and struck him at Alton Parkway and Paseo Westpark, Hodes said. Bermudez had gone to the store that afternoon to buy paint for his bike.

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Bermudez was hospitalized for more than a month with a broken leg and pelvis. Later that summer he was readmitted to an Orange County hospital for treatment of a massive internal infection, which his lawyer alleged was caused by a botched surgery on his pelvis.

Bermudez, who is to graduate from high school this month and attend UC Santa Barbara in the fall, underwent nine more surgeries through the early 1990s, his lawyer said. The verdict included $700,000 for his past pain and suffering and more than $124,000 for past medical bills.

The driver admitted liability during the six-week trial but contended that the two doctors should share responsibility because their actions caused additional harm, said attorney James L. Grandy, who represents Perry.

The doctors, Wilmer Irvine and Vincent Gilliland, adamantly denied that the surgical screws they used to reconstruct the boy’s pelvis at Long Beach Memorial Hospital caused his later infection, their lawyer, Bruce Sulzner, said.

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