Case details

Broadside crash caused thumb ligament injury, plaintiff claimed





Result type

Not present

elbow, tear, ulnar collateral ligament
At approximately 2 p.m. on March 13, 2009, plaintiff Patricia Beyer, 55, an attorney, was driving east on Twain Street in San Diego when she was involved in a broadside collision with a van operated by Andrew Montoya, who was attempting a left turn from westbound Twain Street at an uncontrolled intersection. Beyer claimed to her right shoulder and left thumb. Beyer sued Montoya and the owner of the van, Ideal Plumbing and Heating Inc., which was also Montoya’s employer. Beyer alleged that Montoya was negligent in the operation of his vehicle and that Ideal Plumbing was vicariously liable for his actions, since Montoya was in the course and scope of his employment at the time of the accident. Specifically, she claimed that Montoya failed to yield to oncoming traffic when attempting a left turn at the intersection in question. Montoya admitted liability for the accident, and the matter proceeded to a trial on causation and damages., Beyer was taken from the scene of the accident by ambulance and brought to an emergency room with complaints of pain to her left thumb and right shoulder. Her left, non-dominant thumb was subsequently placed in an immobilizing splint, but when symptoms did not improve, she underwent an MRI that revealed a torn ulnar collateral ligament in the thumb. Beyer was also diagnosed with a torn rotator cuff in her right shoulder, and treated her with physical therapy. Thus, she presented $17,415.30 in past medical bills. Beyer claimed that she still experiences pain and discomfort in her thumb and shoulder. She claimed that surgery was recommended for both , but that she has not yet undergone the procedures due to recovery periods causing her to miss work. The plaintiff’s vocational rehabilitation expert testified that following Beyer’s future surgeries, he would recommend workplace accommodations consisting of technology services and equipment (in the amount of $15,760) and the use of contract labor (costing from $35,091 to $304,194). Thus, Beyer asked the jury to award $750,000 in total damages. Her husband, Gary Fisher, originally presented a derivative claim for loss of consortium, but the claim was dismissed months before trial. Defense counsel conceded Beyer’s past medical bills and need for future surgery, but disputed the amount of time she’d need for post-surgery recovery and disputed her need for workplace accommodations. Counsel contended that Beyer would be able to return to work immediately after the surgeries and would be able to resume full work activities within a few weeks of the surgeries.
Superior Court of San Diego County, San Diego, CA

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