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Judge orders driver to pay crash victim's bills

Judge says he may have to pay for medical care for rest of paralyzed man's life.

March 30, 2011|By Veronica Rocha,

PASADENA — A Glendale man who was convicted of paralyzing the 38-year-old driver of another car that got caught up in a street race was ordered Wednesday to pay nearly $277,000 to cover the victim’s medical bills so far.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Teri Schwartz told Aren Aznavoleh at a restitution hearing that he had to pay $276,856 — the amount Medi-Cal paid out for Rafick Daroosee's healthcare immediately after the devastating crash.

Schwartz said Aznavoleh could be responsible for paying for Daroosee’s medical care for the remainder of his life.

“The victim is in a condition where he requires persistent care,” she said.

Daroosee, who’s married and has an 8-year-old son, survived the Jan. 9, 2009 crash, but his injuries were irreversible. Now a quadriplegic, he is being cared for at a local convalescent home, county Deputy Dist. Atty. Susan Navas said.


Daroosee still needs physical therapy, which Navas said he hasn’t undergone because his family doesn’t have the money.

“The longer that isn’t done, the less likely of a recovery,” Navas told Schwartz.

Navas requested $294,643 in restitution to help pay for some of Daroosee’s treatments, but Aznavoleh’s attorney, Lisa Budris, argued that the prosecution didn’t have proof of medical bills to determine the amount.

“I believe I am entitled to it,” Budris said.

Navas had received a California Department of Health Services’ letter stating the agency had issued a lien of nearly $277,000 for Daroosee’s medical treatment.

Aznavoleh’s insurance paid Daroosee’s family $15,000 for the crash, Navas said.

Aznavoleh was sentenced in January to seven years in prison for driving recklessly on Glenoaks Boulevard and causing the crash that injured Daroosee.

Aznavoleh was found guilty Dec. 10 of two felony counts of reckless driving and two felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon for

racing against a white BMW on Glenoaks at 61 mph when he ran through a red light and crashed into Daroosee's Nissan Sentra while he was making a turn at Concord Street.

Aznavoleh testified through an Armenian interpreter that he tried to stop, but faulty brakes on his parents' Nissan Quest caused him to crash into Daroosee's car. He also denied racing the BMW.

His attorney filed a motion to appeal the case.


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