Case details

Bicyclist struck by hit-and-run driver suffered multiple injuries





Result type

Not present

acute blood loss, back, hematoma, iliac crest fracture, muscle injury, pelvic, pelvic fractures, pelvic hematoma, pelvis, respiratory failure, sacroiliac joint fracture
On June 12, 2011, plaintiff Paul Livingston, 35, a freelance drummer, was riding his bicycle near Santa Monica Boulevard and Crescent Drive, in Beverly Hills, when he was struck by a 2010 Honda Fit operated by Victoria Chin. Chin fled the scene, and there were no eyewitnesses. However, Chin turned herself in to the police within 24 hours, after her friends and criminal defense lawyer told her to do so. She was eventually charged with a felony hit and run. Despite an eventual guilty plea and a sentence of 120 days in jail, Chin was released after serving just one day in jail due to overcrowding. Livingston claimed he sustained to his back and pelvis as a result of the crash. Livingston sued Chin, alleging that Chin was negligent in the operation of her vehicle. There was a stay in the civil proceedings from May 2013 to August 2014 while the criminal proceedings against Chin relating to the incident were pending. The matter ultimately proceeded to arbitration. Livingston’s counsel contended that Chin was speeding, driving recklessly, made an unsafe lane change, and failed to yield the right of way to a bicyclist. Thus, counsel asserted that Chin was 100 percent responsible for the collision and was in violation of the California Vehicle Code, including § 23103(a) for reckless driving, § 22350 for speeding, § 21750(a) for an unsafe lane change, § 21200(a) for failing to give a bicycle on a highway the right of way, and § 20001(a) for the felony hit and run. Counsel further asserted that Chin was negligent per se. Chin did not dispute liability at arbitration., Livingston sustained thoracic fractures at the T10, T11, and T12 levels, including a chance fracture and a transverse fracture at the T12 level. He also sustained lumbar fractures at the L1 and L2 levels; transverse process fractures at the L1, L2 and L3 levels; and a right, transverse process fracture at the L5 level. He also suffered pelvic trauma with pelvic bleeding, a pelvic hematoma, and pelvic fractures. In addition, Livingston sustained a sacroiliac joint fracture, an iliac crest fracture, diastasis symphysis pubis (a separation of the normally joined pubic bones), a basilar lung contusion, rhabdomyolysis (a breakdown of muscle fibers that occur due to a muscle injury, thrombocytopenia (a decrease of platelets in the blood), and pulmonary contusions. Livingston subsequently went into respiratory failure due to the pulmonary contusions, had anemia due to the acute blood loss, and had persistent, inappropriate sinus tachycardia. As a result, he was immediately taken to a hospital by emergency medical services and required an extended hospital stay. Within a week of the accident, Livingston underwent a spinal fusion for his spinal fractures, and an internal fixation and closed reduction with the placement of a uniplanar external fixator for his pelvic fractures. However, he claimed he still had some non-disabling, residual . He claimed that as a result, he has been able to continue drumming or perform his daily activities. Thus, Livingston sought recovery of $464,895 in past medical costs, and between $263,590 and $331,150 in future medical costs. He also sought recovery of damages for his past and future pain and suffering. Defense counsel disputed the nature and extent of Livingston’s damages and course of treatment. Counsel also disputed the permanence of Livingston’s , the cost of care, and the necessity of further treatment. Defense counsel contended that Livingston made a good recovery, was not disabled, and returned to an active lifestyle. Thus, counsel asserted that Livingston’s complaints of pain were subjective. The defense’s orthopedic surgery expert opined that no future care was required.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles, CA

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