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In 2018, a Kern County jury awarded $16.2 million to William Kidd who suffered a brain injury after falling at an El Pollo Loco restaurant in Bakersfield in 2012. The restaurant’s attorneys unsuccessfully argued that William Kidd’s cognitive problems were not caused by the fall, but by pre-existing medical conditions.  However, Mr. Kidd claimed that he never displayed any adverse cognitive symptoms until he fell at the restaurant in 2012.

Kidd’s injury was caused by a slippery grease on the restaurant’s floor.  Part of the problem was that cleaning the restaurant’s grills takes almost three hours to complete, but the restaurant only schedules an hour after closing to do this. Rather than schedule more time to properly clean the grills, restaurant workers started cleaning almost two hours before closing, a risky practice that is frowned upon because slippery grease can easily end up in the dining area.

When William Kidd visited the El Pollo Loco restaurant in 2012, a cook was cleaning in the kitchen, and while still wearing wet work boots, the cook entered the dining area to clean tables. Kidd emerged from the bathroom at that time and slipped on a patch of grease left behind by the cook, slamming his head against the ground. As a result, Kidd suffered bleeding in his brain and had to undergo emergency surgery. He now has permanent brain damage and an increased likelihood of developing dementia later in life.

Brain Injury Symptoms And Facts Brain injuries are complicated to assess and always require medical treatment. Even minor concussions may cause devastating cognitive and behavioral issues that can last a lifetime. Sadly, the most traumatic brain injuries result in physical disability, paralysis, or death.

Brain injuries are particularly traumatic because they literally destroy brain cells. Most major organs have the ability to regenerate new cells, but the brain does not. Once brain cells become damaged, the connections between them are destroyed and a brain injury victim will literally never be the same person.

Even with therapy, there is no guarantee a brain injury victim will relearn familiar functions, and many people experience problems with mobility, senses, emotional and cognitive abilities, and changes in personality for the rest of their lives.

Physical Symptoms Of A Mild Brain Injury:

  • Poor balance or dizziness.
  • Consciousness is retained, but confusion and disorientation are present.
  • Loss of consciousness that lasts from a few seconds to a few minutes.
  • Headaches.
  • Speech issues.
  • Drowsiness and fatigue.
  • Sleeping difficulties.
  • Vomiting and nausea.

Sensory Symptoms Of A Mild Brain Injury:

  • Ringing in the ears, blurred vision, and changes in the ability to smell and taste.
  • Noticeable sensitivity to sound and light.

Mental/Cognitive Symptoms Of A Mild Brain Injury:

  • Depression/anxiety.
  • Memory and concentration issues.
  • Mood swings and mood changes.

Physical Symptoms Of Moderate To Severe Brain Injury:

  • Loss of consciousness that lasts a few minutes to several hours.
  • Repeated vomiting and nausea.
  • Seizures and convulsions.
  • Dilation of one or both pupils.
  • Clear fluid leaking from the ears or nose.
  • Inability to wake up from sleep.
  • Loss of balance and coordination.
  • Constant headaches.
  • Numbness and weakness in fingers and toes.

Cognitive/Mental Symptoms Of Moderate To Severe Brain Injury:

  • Agitation and other unusual behaviors.
  • Severe confusion.
  • Slurred speech.

If you have suffered a brain injury in the Bakersfield area, please visit this link for more resources.


  1. Minimize Movement. An injured person must remain lying down with their head and shoulders slightly elevated. Do not move someone with a head injury and avoid moving their neck. If a victim is wearing a helmet, do not remove it.
  2. Stop the Bleeding. Use sterile gauze or a clean piece of cloth and apply firm pressure to the wound. Do not apply direct pressure to the wound if you suspect there may be a skull fracture.
  3. Monitor Breathing and Alertness. Administer CPR if a person does not show signs of breathing, coughing, or movement.
  4. Prevent Choking. If a person begins to vomit, roll their head, neck, and body onto their side.

Seek medical attention immediately if a victim:

  • Becomes sleepy or falls asleep.
  • Has pupils that are of unequal sizes.
  • Behaves strangely.
  • Develops a stiff neck or a severe headache.
  • Vomits repeatedly.
  • Cannot move an arm or leg.
  • Loses consciousness.


  • DO NOT move a person unless absolutely necessary.
  • DO NOT wash a deep or bleeding head wound.
  • DO NOT remove any objects sticking out of a head wound.
  • DO NOT shake a person if they seem disoriented.
  • DO NOT pick up a child who has a head injury.
  • DO NOT consume any alcohol within 48 hours of a head injury.


If you have sustained a brain injury in the Bakersfield area, an attorney at our firm can recover financial compensation for the losses you have suffered, including medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Call us today at (661) 347-3610 or email [email protected] to schedule a free consultation with our experienced, caring, and compassionate legal team.

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