Case details

Bicyclist claimed motorist’s negligent turn caused crash




Mediated Settlement

Result type

Not present

brain, concussion, face, facial, fracture, head, knee, left knee, meniscus, nose, tear
On Jan. 26, 2011, at approximately 10:23 a.m., plaintiff Cressita Bowman, 27, a high school lacrosse coach and teacher, was riding her bicycle on Soquel Avenue, in Santa Cruz, when she collided with a right-turning vehicle operated by Richard Jennings. Bowman sustained road rash to her arms and legs, and she claimed additional to her head, face, and left knee. Bowman sued Jennings, alleging the defendant was negligent in the operation of his vehicle. Bowman claimed Jennings made a negligent right-turn maneuver by failing to yield the right of way to a bicyclist traveling in a marked bicycle lane. She claimed that as a result, she crashed into the passenger-side, rear quarter panel of Jennings’ vehicle. Defense counsel argued that Bowman was comparatively negligent. Counsel contended that Bowman was bicycling with a friend, who was roughly 10 feet in front of Bowman and was able to make an emergency stop to avoid colliding with Jennings’ vehicle. However, defense counsel argued that even though Bowman had sufficient time to brake and stop her bicycle to avoid the impact, Bowman was inattentive and failed to do so., Bowman sustained road rash to her arms and legs, and a right orbital fracture. She was subsequently airlifted to an emergency room, where she was further diagnosed with a concussion. Bowman also complained of pain to her left knee and right hip. Her hip was determined to be bruised, but her knee pain was determined to be due to a torn meniscus, for which she ultimately underwent arthroscopic surgery in October 2012. She also underwent physical therapy for her left knee and right hip, both before and after her knee surgery. Bowman claimed that while her facial fracture and concussion symptoms have resolved, she still experiences soreness in her left knee and right hip. She alleged her condition has affected her abilities as a lacrosse coach, as well as affected her running and other aspects of her previously active lifestyle. The plaintiff’s treating orthopedic surgeon recommended a possible arthroscopic hip surgery, if Bowman’s condition did not improve. Bowman sought recovery of $47,000 in past medical costs and $16,000 in future medical costs, if she were to undergo hip surgery. She also sought recovery of damages for her past and future pain and suffering. Defense counsel did not dispute Bowman’s facial fracture or concussion, but argued that Bowman’s alleged knee and hip were unrelated to the subject accident.
Superior Court of Santa Cruz County, Santa Cruz, CA

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