Case details

Bicyclist claimed vehicle turned without signaling





Result type

Not present

back, chondromalacia, chondromalacipatella, disc protrusion, fracture, hip, knee, lateral meniscus, plicsyndrome, tear, thoracic knee
On Aug. 3, 2009, plaintiff Michael Hutchens, 46, an administrative assistant, was riding his bicycle south on Vermont Avenue in Griffin Park when he collided with a vehicle driven by a Los Angeles Parks and Recreation employee, Carlos Robles. Hutchens claimed to his hip, knee and back as a result of the collision. Hutchens sued Robles and his employer, the city of Los Angeles. He alleged that Robles was negligent in the operation of his vehicle and that the city was vicariously liable for his actions. Hutchens claimed that Robles made an abrupt right turn onto an access road without signaling or observing, which caused him to crash into the right side of Robles’ vehicle. He alleged that as a result, he was ejected from his bicycle seat and thrown over the hood of Robles’s car. Robles claimed that Hutchens was speeding and was entirely at fault for the accident. Defense counsel contended that Hutchens attempted to unsafely overtake Robles’ vehicle on the right hand side., Hutchens was taken by ambulance to Providence Saint Joseph Hospital in Burbank, where he spent five days. He was subsequently treated for a non-displaced hip fracture and received pain management. Hutchens claimed that he also suffered a lateral meniscus tear, chondromalacia of the patella and plica, all of the left knee. He underwent six months of physical therapy to address his hip injury and in November 2010, he underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair the left knee’s lateral meniscus tear. In January 2012, Hutchens visited his orthopedist with complaints of mid-lower back pain. He was subsequently diagnosed with an extruded disc at the T8-9 level, which he claimed will require future thoracic decompressive surgery with discectomy, interbody fusion and pedicle screw fixation at the T8-9 level. Hutchens claimed that he was not able to work during the six months he was undergoing physical therapy of his hip. He also claimed that he was out of work for two months after knee surgery and that he has been unable to work since January 2012 due to his back pain. In addition, Hutchens claimed that he will eventually require a hip replacement. Thus, Hutchens asked the jury to award $1.2 million in damages for his past and future medical costs, past and future lost earnings, and past and future pain and suffering. Defense counsel did not dispute Hutchens’ hip or knee , but argued that his back injury was not related to the accident. Instead, counsel contended that Hutchens’ back injury was the result of a car collision he was involved in six months after the Griffin Park accident.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles, CA

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