Case details

Bicyclist struck by turning taxi claimed head and knee injuries





Result type

Not present

brain, brain injury, cognition, concussion, fracture, head, impairment, knee, left knee, meniscus, mental, psychological, tear, tibial plateau, traumatic brain injury
On Jan. 8, 2013, at around 10 p.m., plaintiff Erika Prieto, 19, a part-time store clerk, was riding her bicycle near the intersection of Broadway and Stockton Streets, in San Francisco. As she entered the intersection, she was struck by a taxi attempting a U-turn. Prieto claimed she injured her head and left knee. Prieto sued the operated of the taxi, Abdulraheem Aljunaidi; and the taxi owner and Aljunaidi’s employer, Yellow Cab Cooperative Inc. Prieto alleged that Aljunaidi was negligent in the operation of the taxi and that Yellow Cab was vicariously liable for Aljunaidi’s negligence. According to defense counsel, Prieto demanded $900,000 at a non-binding arbitration, and was ultimately awarded $113,000. As a result, Prieto rejected the arbitration decision one day after the award was issued. However, Prieto later offered to settle in exchange for $113,084.83. At trial, Prieto contended that Aljunaidi failed to keep a proper lookout, and attempted an unsafe and reckless U-Turn without signaling. Defense counsel admitted that Aljunaidi and Yellow Cab were liable, but argued that Prieto was comparatively negligent for failing to have a light on her bike., Emergency Medical Technicians recorded that Prieto complained of head, knee, and hip pain after the accident. They also recorded that Prieto was amnestic. As a result, Prieto was taken by ambulance to San Francisco General Hospital, in San Francisco, where she received staples for a laceration to her head. She also underwent a CT scan that revealed a subgaleal hematoma, which is bleeding in the potential space between the skull periosteum and the scalp galea aponeurosis. It also revealed right periorbital soft-tissue swelling. Prieto was ultimately released after two hours. After continuing to complain of ongoing pain in her right leg, as well as cognitive challenges, Prieto sought treatment from a general practitioner, as well as underwent physical therapy and chiropractic care. Based on information gained from her subsequent treatment, Prieto claimed the impact of the collision tore her left knee’s meniscus and fractured her left leg’s tibial plateau, as well as caused her to suffer a concussion. Prieto, who was a part-time store clerk at Trader Joe’s and at Real Food, alleged that the to her knee prevented her from working for many months and that the concussion caused mild but ongoing symptoms such as irritability, loss of appetite, and sensitivity to smells. The plaintiff’s expert neuropsychologist testified that Prieto was still experiencing some mild post-concussive symptoms. According to defense counsel, Prieto also claimed that she suffered a traumatic brain injury, resulting in permanent brain damage. However, the defense’s psychology expert testified that Prieto’s alleged traumatic brain injury symptoms resolved shortly after the accident. Defense counsel argued that most of Prieto’s alleged wage loss was not causally related to her . Counsel also argued that most of Prieto’s medical treatment was unreasonable. The defense’s physical medicine and rehabilitation expert testified, among other things, that Prieto’s medical treatment was overpriced and that most of it was unnecessary.
Superior Court of San Francisco County, San Francisco, CA

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