Case details

Bicyclist caused crash by riding against traffic, driver alleged





Result type

Not present

back, bulging disc, cervical, face, facial laceration, lumbar, neck, nose, sprain, strain
On Feb. 21, 2009, plaintiff Leanna Wilson, 33, a cosmetologist, was in front of Hampton Place Townhomes on Highland Avenue in Hollywood when she was struck by a 2001 Volvo sedan operated by Blake Peyrot. Peyrot’s vehicle was exiting an underground parking structure owned by Hampton Place Townhomes. Wilson sustained a facial laceration and she claimed to her neck and back. Wilson sued Peyrot, alleging that the driver was negligent in the operation of the sedan. Hampton Place Townhomes LLC was never served by Wilson, but Peyrot filed a cross-complaint against the townhome company, seeking indemnification. However, Hampton Place never appeared, and Peyrot was granted a default judgment against it. Wilson claimed that she was pushing her bicycle on the sidewalk of Highland Avenue, against traffic, when she entered the roadway and was struck by Peyrot’s vehicle. Thus, she claimed that Peyrot failed to yield to her as a pedestrian. The plaintiff’s accident reconstruction expert opined that Wilson was walking her bicycle at the time of the accident. Defense counsel contended that Wilson was, instead, riding her bicycle on the sidewalk, against traffic, wearing headphones connected to her iPod, when she rode into Peyrot’s vehicle. Thus, counsel argued that Wilson caused the subject accident and was comparatively negligent by riding against the flow of traffic. The defense’s accident reconstruction expert opined that Wilson was riding her bicycle at the time of the collision., Wilson sustained contusions, a laceration to her chin and was subsequently treated at the scene before being transported to an emergency room, where she received stitches for her facial laceration. She also claimed cervical and lumbar sprains and strains, as well as a bulging cervical disc at the C5-6 level. Wilson began one year of chiropractic treatment and a few months after her last chiropractic visit, she treated with an orthopedic surgeon and had several consultations with him. The plaintiff’s orthopedic surgery expert recommended cervical epidural injections to Wilson. As a result, Wilson underwent one round of epidural injections two weeks before trial, but she claimed the injections provided no relief. Thus, the plaintiff’s expert orthopedist opined that Wilson’s only option would be a spinal fusion at C5-6. The expert added that because of Wilson’s age and life expectancy, the discs around the surgery point would likely break down, and Wilson would require another surgery 15 to 20 years later. Though she continued to work, Wilson claimed that it was difficult for her, but that she continued because she needed the money. She alleged that she has range of motion problems with her stiff neck, which she demonstrated at trial. Wilson also claimed that she can no longer ride bicycles, go hiking or exercise. Thus, Wilson sought recovery of $28,172.75 in damages for her past medical costs, $400,000 in damages for her past pain and suffering, $107,000 in damages for each for the two future surgeries, $100,000 per year in damages for her past general damages, and an unspecified amount of damages for her future general damages for the rest of her life. Defense counsel argued that Wilson’s neck problems were not due to the subject accident. The defense’s expert radiologist reviewed the MRIs of Wilson’s neck and opined that the abnormal findings were degenerative, and not related to the subject accident.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles, CA

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