Case details

Accident caused shoulder, neck and knee injuries: plaintiff




Mediated Settlement

Result type

Not present

cervical, knee, left knee, medial meniscus, neck, shoulders, strain, tear
On March 29, 2012, at approximately 6 p.m., plaintiff Graciela Lopez, 54, a sales representative for home/direct sales, was riding her bicycle west along Laurel Canyon Boulevard in Los Angeles when she entered the intersection with Kittridge Street and was struck in the crosswalk by a city-owned vehicle operated by Robert Kraus, who was attempting a right turn from southbound Kittridge Street onto westbound Laurel Canyon Boulevard. Lopez claimed to her neck, left knee, and both shoulders. Lopez sued Kraus and the city of Los Angeles. Lopez alleged that Kraus was negligent in the operation of his vehicle and that the city was vicariously liable for Kraus’ actions since he was operating the vehicle through the course and scope of his work for the city. Specifically, Lopez contended that Kraus failed to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk when making his right turn. Kraus and the city admitted liability for the accident., Lopez was taken by ambulance to an emergency room, where she was diagnosed with cervical strains and sprains, bilateral shoulder tendinosis with partial rotator cuff tears, and an oblique tear of the posterior horn of the left knee’s medial meniscus. On Oct. 10, 2012, Lopez underwent a left knee arthroscopy, consisting of a partial medial and lateral meniscectomy, lateral release of the patella, and extensive synovectomy of three compartments. She also underwent left shoulder decompression and debridement surgery on Dec. 12, 2012, followed by a manipulation procedure on April 11, 2013 due to the development of adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder). Lopez then underwent a right shoulder arthroscopy on Aug 7, 2013, which also required a subsequent manipulation procedure on Nov. 14, 2013, due to adhesive capsulitis. Lopez claimed that while her neck and left knee have mostly resolved, she still experiences residual shoulder pain and discomfort, mostly in her right shoulder. She claimed that her range of motion is still limited and that she has difficulty lifting heavy items. She further claimed she will require future medical care, consisting of orthopedic evaluations, physical therapy and cortisone injections on an as-needed basis. Thus, Lopez sought recovery of $228,036 in past medical costs and unspecified amounts in future medical costs. She also sought recovery of damages for her pain and suffering. Lopez’s husband, Jose Lopez originally filed a loss of consortium claim, but it was ultimately not pursued. Defense counsel argued that Mrs. Lopez would not have required the manipulation procedures had she done the required exercises, which resulted in the adhesive capsulitis in both shoulders. Counsel further argued that all of Mrs. Lopez’s alleged future medical care was unnecessary.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles, CA

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