Case details

Bicyclist claimed wrist, head and shoulder injuries from crash





Result type

Not present

cognition, concentration, face, fracture, impairment, mental, nose, psychological, shoulder
At approximately 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 14, 2008, plaintiff Dan Ortega, 47, a foundry worker, was riding his bicycle south on Garden Highway in Yuba City when he collided with the right, front fender of a vehicle operated by Martin Raya, who was attempting a left turn from northbound Garden Highway into the driveway of Sierra Gold Nursery. Ortega claimed to his right wrist, right shoulder, nose and head. Ortega sued Raya and his employer, Sierra Gold Nurseries Inc. He alleged that Raya was negligent in the operation of his vehicle and that Sierra Gold was vicariously liable for Raya’s actions, since he was in the course and scope of his employment. Specifically, plaintiff’s counsel contended that Raya was negligent for failing to yield to oncoming traffic by turning into the path of Ortega’s bicycle. Raya claimed that it was dusk and foggy out at the time of the accident. He also claimed that the plaintiff was listening to headphones in violation of the Vehicle Code, wearing dark clothing, and had no light reflectors on his bicycle. Thus, defense counsel contended that Ortega was contributorily negligent in causing the accident., Ortega was taken from the scene of the accident by ambulance and brought to an emergency room. He sustained fractures of his right, dominant wrist, right shoulder and nose. He claimed that he also suffered a small micro-hemorrhage in his brain and was rendered unconscious during the accident. Ortega subsequently underwent open reduction and internal fixation surgery on his wrist and followed up with minimal physical therapy. His shoulder and nose fractures were not treated. Ortega claimed that he suffers from residual problems as a result of his head injury, including memory loss, concentration deficits and emotional problems. He also claimed residual wrist pain. Ortega alleged that he tried to return to work two months after the accident, but quit because he found it was too difficult. Thus, he sought recovery of approximately $200,000 in damages for his past medical costs, and an unspecified amount in damages for his future medical costs, past and future lost earnings, and past and future pain and suffering. Defense counsel disputed Ortega’s claim about losing consciousness during the accident, asserting that he was malingering his symptoms. Counsel also contended that the plaintiff’s residual complaints were undocumented and that he failed to mitigate his damages. In addition, counsel contended that Ortega quit his job voluntarily.
Superior Court of Sutter County, Sutter, CA

Recommended Experts


Get a FREE consultation for your case