Case details

Bicyclist claimed driver did not stop at stop sign





Result type

Not present

back, contusion, digestive, dislocation, epidermis, finger, fracture, gastrointestinal, hand, head, liver, neck, pneumothorax, pulmonary, respiratory, sprains, strains
On May 6, 2011, plaintiff James Ambroff-Tahan, 54, was riding his bicycle north on California Street, which dead-ends at a park in Berkeley at the T-intersection with Hearst Street. As Ambroff-Tahan crossed the intersection, and before he moved into the cross-walk in order to enter the park, the rear gear sprocket and wheel of his bicycle was struck by a vehicle operated by Cindy Lin, who was westbound on Hearst Street. The collision caused Ambroff-Tahan to be propelled over the bicycle’s handlebars and fell face-first while bracing himself with his hands. Ambroff-Tahan sued Lin, alleging that the defendant was negligent in the operation of her vehicle. He claimed that he stopped for the stop sign on California Street before proceeding into the intersection, but that Lin failed to keep a proper lookout or stop for the stop sign on Hearst Street. Lin contended that Ambroff-Tahan did not stop for the stop sign and was speeding through the intersection. She claimed that she came to a full stop in her vehicle, but that she did not see Lin stop., Ambroff-Tahan complained of bilateral arm and hand pain, and sustained an obvious right hand fracture. Paramedics arrived at the scene and placed Ambroff-Tahan on a full spinal protocol with a back board/head board, collar and straps with hands and neck splinted. He was also given morphine on-site and then taken to Highland Hospital. At the emergency room, a diagnostic brain scan and X-rays were taken, which revealed a back sprain, a cervical sprain, chest wall and other contusions, a head injury, a liver injury, a myocardial contusion, a pneumothorax, a splenetic injury and a fractured pinkie of his right hand. Ambroff-Tahan later went to his primary care physician, who saw Ambroff-Tahan several times before referring him to a hand surgeon for therapy and acupuncture. The hand surgeon recommended a series of two surgeries to attempt to free the joint where the pinkie was dislocated at an odd angle. Plaintiff’s counsel contended that the estimate for the two additional hand surgeries was $41,442. Despite treatment, Ambroff-Tahan continues to complain of hand pain. He cannot bend the pinkie and cannot type. He claimed that his pinkie sticks out in a way that could subject it to further injury. Ambroff-Tahan had been a longtime journalist, writing editorials for the San Francisco Examiner until he was laid off after changes in the industry. At the time, he was being retrained for a new profession. Following the accident, Ambroff-Tahan seeks employment in both his old profession and his new profession, where he received a certificate, but that he will be obligated to type in both positions. However, he claimed that typing with his impaired right hand is difficult.
Superior Court of Alameda County, Oakland, CA

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