Case details

Bicyclist entering intersection on blinking light struck by car





Result type

Not present

bulging disc, cervical, knee, neck, shoulder, wrist
On July 29, 2013, plaintiff Angel Martinez, 27, a temporary packaging clerk, was riding his bicycle, without a helmet, on his way to work. He was riding on the sidewalk, traveling east along Edinger Avenue, in Santa Ana, when he approached the crosswalk at the intersection of Edinger Avenue and Auto Mall Drive. However, as he entered the crosswalk, he was struck by a vehicle operated by Phuong Phipps. Martinez claimed of the neck, a shoulder, a knee, and a wrist. Martinez sued Phipps, alleging that Phipps was negligent in the operation of his motor vehicle. Martinez claimed that he entered the crosswalk on a flashing, red-hand pedestrian signal, which he alleged meant that he still had the right of way, as the signal had not yet turned to a solid, non-blinking, red hand. Thus, he claimed that Phipps failed to yield the right of way. Defense counsel contended that Martinez admitted to entering the crosswalk on a flashing, red-hand light. Thus, counsel argued that Martinez was negligent for entering the crosswalk when pedestrians were warned not to cross, as indicated by the flashing red light. Defense counsel further argued that Phipps had the right-of-way at the intersection, as indicated by the green traffic light. In addition, counsel noted that the police report of the incident indicated that Martinez was at fault for travelling quickly on his bicycle into the intersection., Martinez claimed that he sustained a 1- to 2-millimeter cervical disc bulge at the C4-5 level and a tear of a shoulder’s labrum. He subsequently presented to Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian, in Newport Beach, on the day of the incident with complaints of pain to his head, a wrist, and a knee. He was treated and released. He then did not report to work for one week. In December 2013, Martinez presented to his primary care physician with pain in his neck and shoulders. He was prescribed pain medications and then presented to a chiropractor for treatment on four or five occasions. Martinez was then referred for MRIs, which revealed a 1- to 2-millimeter cervical disc bulge at the C4-5 level. However, the MRI of the shoulder did not reveal any . He then received epidural injections to his cervical spine on Jan. 29, 2014, and March 14, 2014. After the second injection, Martinez stopped treating his . Martinez later underwent an MRI with an arthrogram in August 2016, and it revealed a tear of a shoulder’s labrum. As a result, arthroscopic surgery to repair the shoulder was recommended, but Martinez did not plan to undergo the surgery due to fear. Martinez claimed that he was ultimately able to resume employment, but that he suffers from lingering neck and shoulder pain. Thus, he sought recovery of past and future economic damages for his medical expenses and lost wages, and past and future non-economic damages for his pain and suffering. Defense counsel argued that there was no tear in the labrum and that Martinez only sustained soft-tissue that would have recovered within six to eight weeks.
Superior Court of Orange County, Santa Ana, CA

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