A Santa Clarita woman who claims Mel Gibson’s ex-girlfriend caused a 2015 crash that left the plaintiff with lingering injuries is entitled to more than $40,000 in damages, her attorney told a jury Thursday, but a defense lawyer said he questions whether the woman did enough to overcome her injuries.
The two lawyers gave their final arguments to a Los Angeles Superior Court jury tasked with deciding 29-year-old Meghan Watts’ negligence lawsuit against 48-year-old Oksana Grigorieva, who during a stormy relationship with Gibson bore him a daughter, accused him of physical abuse and eventually reached a settlement with the actor-director. Jury deliberations began late Thursday afternoon and will continue Friday.
Plaintiff’s attorney Steven Simons said although Grigorieva has admitted causing the accident, she never took the stand to explain what happened.
“There is no evidence she even apologized for the injuries she pushed upon Ms. Watts,” Simons said.
But Grigorieva’s lawyer, Rajeev Patel, said Watts underwent medical treatments she probably didn’t need and that she could have improved her condition by exercising more.
Noting that Watts maintains her injuries have limited her ability to exercise, Patel said, “I have a hard time believing that.”
Patel said Watts was involved in a previous traffic accident in 2011.
Watts testified that she took the day off from her secretarial job at an appraiser’s office in San Fernando on Jan. 16, 2015, to take flowers to the workplace of her mother, who was celebrating her birthday. She said she was driving east on the Ventura (134) Freeway, just east of the Hollywood (170) Freeway about 3 p.m., when she saw a freeway traffic advisory sign warning of an accident ahead. Watts said she slowed and eventually stopped, as did the driver of another car behind her.
However, Grigorieva, driving behind the car that was trailing Watts’ Passat, failed to stop and hit the car ahead of her, pushing it forward into her vehicle, Watts said.
Meghan Watts said when she got out of her Volkswagen Passat after the accident in Burbank, she encountered Grigorieva and asked if she and her daughter, Lucia, then 5 years old, were hurt.
“She said that they were doing OK,” said Watts, who was 26 years old at the time of the accident.
Watts said she suffered pain in her neck, lower back and right knee and that some of that pain continues to this day.
Watts did not say if she recognized Grigorieva, a Russian pianist and singer who had a son with British actor Timothy Dalton in 1997.
Since Grigorieva, 48, has admitted liability, the jury only has to decide Watts’ damages.