Case details

Accident solely caused by unidentified driver, defense claimed





Result type

Not present

back, brain, brain injury, bruise, chronic migraine, cognition, concussion, ear, eyebrow, face, facial laceration, hands, head, headaches, impairment, knee, leg, legs, mental, migraine, nose, orthopedic injuries, pain, psychological, soft-tissue injuries, swollen ear, traumatic brain injury
On July 13, 2013, plaintiffs Chelsea Bishar, 23, a relocation coordinator, and Andrew Sleiman, 27, a civil engineer, were passengers in a Lincoln Town Car owned and operated by Mohamed Ahmed. After their friends’ wedding in downtown San Diego, Bishar and Sleiman were picked up by Ahmed to be driven home. However, shortly after Ahmed merged onto northbound Interstate 15, an unidentified driver of a Chevy Blazer drove past Ahmed’s Town Car on the left side and then suddenly turned right in front of Ahmed. The Chevy Blazer then continued to the right across the freeway, to the right lane, and the Town Car also went toward the right shoulder of the freeway. Ahmed’s Town Car then turned back to the left, across the freeway lanes, and crashed into the center divider, causing damage to the vehicle. The driver of the Chevy Blazer subsequently fled the scene and was never identified. Bishar claimed that due to the incident, she sustained to her head, hand and legs. Sleiman claimed to his head, knee, back, and hand. Bishar and Sleiman sued Ahmed, alleging that Ahmed was negligent in the operation of his Town Car. Bishar and Sleiman claimed that Ahmed failed to pay proper attention while they were in the vehicle and/or that Ahmed overreacted to the Chevy Blazer. Plaintiffs’ counsel noted that Ahmed was a common carrier. Ahmed denied operating the Town Car in a negligent manner and claimed that he was faced with a sudden emergency. He claimed that when the Chevy Blazer made a sudden right turn in front of him, it made contact with the left corner of his Town Car’s front bumper. Thus, Ahmed contended that the sole cause of the accident was the unidentified “hit-and-run driver.” In response, Bishar and Sleiman denied that the Chevy Blazer ever made contact with Ahmed’s Town Car., Bishar and Sleiman were both transported by ambulance to a hospital. Bishar claimed that she sustained a traumatic brain injury, resulting in a concussion, cognitive impairment, hearing and visual sensitivity, and chronic migraine headaches. She also claimed she sustained orthopedic , bruising to her hands and legs, and severe emotional distress as a result of the automobile accident. Bishar subsequently underwent several months of psychiatric and psychological treatment, including attending a “Brain School,” as directed by her treating neurologist. She also underwent cognitive therapy, migraine treatment, and less than one year of physical therapy. Bishar claimed that her brain injury limits her from functioning in all phases of her life and caused her to take time off from work. Thus, Bishar sought recovery of $30,598.17 in medical costs, $295,100 in future medical costs for her head injury and migraine treatment, $37,041 for past lost earnings, and $213,544 for future loss of earnings. She also sought recovery of damages for her past and future pain and suffering. Sleiman alleged concussive , a possible tear in his knee, pain in his hand and back, a lacerated eyebrow, and a swollen ear. He was subsequently evaluated by an orthopedic surgeon and underwent physical therapy for approximately six months. He also took approximately one month off of work. Thus, Sleiman sought recovery of $12,809.85 in past medical costs, nothing for future medical costs, $4,000 for past loss of earnings, and nothing for future loss of earnings. He also sought recovery of damages for his past pain and suffering. Plaintiffs’ counsel ultimately asked that the jury award Bishar and Sleiman approximately $1.25 million in total damages. Defense counsel disputed the nature and extent of the plaintiffs’ alleged . Defense counsel denied that Bishar sustained any sort of traumatic brain or cognitive injury, and argued that Bishar’s were soft-tissue in nature and were limited to minor bruising. Counsel also denied that Sleiman sustained any other than a small laceration and minor soft-tissue injury.
Superior Court of San Diego County, San Diego, CA

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