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$4 Million Settlement for Family of Man Killed in Party Bus Accident

At Greene Broillet & Wheeler, our seasoned team of professionals have over 100 years of combined legal experience handling complex legal matters.

GBW Announce $4 Million Settlement for Family of Man Killed After Falling from Party Bus on 101 Freeway

SANTA MONICA, Calif., April 27, 2016 — Attorneys with the Santa Monica Law Firm Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP announced Monday the $4,020,000 settlement of a wrongful death lawsuit filed on behalf of the family of CJ Saraceno, a man killed after he fell out of a party bus and into traffic on the 101 Freeway near Studio City.

Attorneys Christine Spagnoli and Christian Nickerson represented the Saraceno family. The party bus, owned by the Hyros Corporation, was poorly maintained and had been cited by the CHP for safety violations 5 months before the September 2013incident, but was still in operation without repairs even after it was ordered off the road, Spagnoli said.

“The compressor that was supposed to keep the door to the bus closed while it was moving on the freeway wasn’t functional,” Spagnoli said. “They knew or should have known about the problem, didn’t fix it, and it cost CJ Saraceno his life.”

The pneumatic door system that failed is designed to provide enough air pressure to ensure the bus doors remain closed when the vehicle is moving. Discovery revealed that Hyros negligently maintained the bus and its component parts and this failure to safely transport its passengers resulted in a preventable tragedy.

“It’s something that should never have happened,” said Chris Saraceno, father of the 24-year-old victim.

Saraceno had moved to California from his native Connecticut and was working for a digital design agency. He was out celebrating a birthday with friends on the bus, which was traveling south on the 101 Freeway near Universal Studios Drive, the night he was killed. Other passengers on the bus say Saraceno was standing near the front, changing the music on the radio when the bus swerved and Saraceno lost his balance, falling down the stairway and through the door.

Friends tried to grab him as he slipped down the stairway to the exit, and Saraceno attempted to hold on to a handle and the bottom step, but he fell out of the bus onto the freeway and was hit by several cars.

The case exposed the gaps in enforcement of safety regulations for limo companies that maintain and operate these types of vehicles.

  • Best Law Firms by US News
    Best Law Firms by US News

    Named in U.S. News - Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms,” Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP ranks as Tier 1 Personal Injury and Product Liability firm in Los Angeles.

  • Consumer Attorneys of California
    Consumer Attorneys of California

    Many firm members have been honored by the Consumer Attorneys of California, including Browne Greene, Christine Spagnoli, and Bruce Broillet, recipients of the Marvin E. Lewis Award. In addition, attorneys Bruce Broillet, Scott Carr, Molly McKibben, and Tobin Lanzetta has been honored with the Consumer Attorney of the Year Award.

  • LACBA
    LACBA

    All of our attorneys are proud to be active members of the Los Angeles County Bar Association or LACBA.

  • The Inner Circle of Advocates
    The Inner Circle of Advocates

    Founding partners Browne Greene and Bruce A. Broillet are both members of the exclusive invite-only Inner Circle of Advocates, as two of the top 100 plaintiff trial lawyers in America.

  • Best Lawyers
    Best Lawyers

    No fewer than 11 of our attorneys have been selected to Best Lawyers® after an extensive peer review process.

  • Top 10 Wrongful Death Verdicts in California in 2019
    Top 10 Wrongful Death Verdicts in California in 2019

    Our attorneys were featured in TopVerdict for having one of the Top 10 Wrongful Death Verdicts in California in 2019, with $15 million won for the plaintiff in Keck v. Bel-Air Bay Club.

  • Super Lawyers®
    Super Lawyers®

    Our firm has more attorneys on the Super Lawyers® and Rising Stars lists than any other law firm in Southern California, with 15 members selected.

  • Top 50 Personal Injury Verdicts in California in 2019
    Top 50 Personal Injury Verdicts in California in 2019

    After winning $2.6 million for the plaintiff’s side in a head-on collision case, our victory was named in the Top 50 Personal Injury Verdicts in California in 2019 by TopVerdict.

  • American Board of Trial Advocates
    American Board of Trial Advocates

    Several of our partners are members in the American Board of Trial Advocates, a national invite-only association consisting of the most experienced trial lawyers.

  • WLALA
    WLALA

    Firm partners Christine D. Spagnoli and Molly McKibben have both been honored by the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles and are active members.

  • CAALA
    CAALA

    Several partners are active members in the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles, with attorneys Browne Greene, Bruce Broillet, and Christine Spagnoli named “Trial Lawyer of the Year."

  • Top 100 Settlements in California in 2019
    Top 100 Settlements in California in 2019

    Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, was featured by TopVerdict in the Top 100 Settlements across all practice areas in California for 2019.

  • International Academy of Trial Lawyers
    International Academy of Trial Lawyers

    Bruce A. Broillet and Christine D. Spagnoli are Fellows with the invite-only International Academy of Trial Lawyers, a group of elite trial lawyers from over 30 countries.

  • International Society of Barristers
    International Society of Barristers

    Our team includes several Fellows and Associates with the invite-only International Society of Barristers in recognition of their trial advocacy.

  • America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators
    America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators

    As a member of America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators®, founding partner Bruce Broillet joins a select group of California lawyers. Only 0.5% of active attorneys in the United States receive this honor.

  • Lawdragon
    Lawdragon

    Lawdragon has selected five of our firm’s attorneys to the 2020 Lawdragon 500 Leading Plaintiff Consumer Lawyers list.

  • American College of Trial Lawyers
    American College of Trial Lawyers

    A preeminent trial lawyers’ organization in North America, the American College of Trial Lawyers have elected firm partners Bruce Broillet, Mark Quigley, and Geoffrey Wells as Fellows.

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