Case details

Collision caused toe and wrist fractures, plaintiff claimed





Result type

Not present

back, neck, right big toe, right wrist
On Dec. 10, 2010, as approximately 2 p.m., plaintiff Carolyn Petrella, 47, a preschool teacher, was driving on eastbound Encinitas Boulevard, in Encinitas, when she attempted a left turn at the intersection with Village Park Way and collided with a vehicle operated by Thomas John Byrne, who was traveling straight on westbound Encinitas Boulevard. Petrella claimed to her right big toe, right wrist, neck and back. Petrella sued Byrne, alleging the defendant was negligent in the operation of his vehicle. However, Byrne, passed away for reasons unrelated to the accident. As a result, his wife, Arlette Byrne, and his son, Thomas A. Byrne, took over as defendants on behalf of the decedent’s estate. Petrella claimed she was making a left turn on a green, left-turn arrow at the subject intersection and that the decedent ran a red light, causing the collision between the left-front quarter panel of her vehicle and front of the decedent’s vehicle. The decedent’s family did not argue liability for the accident., On the day of the accident, Petrella was taken by her husband to an emergency room, where she was diagnosed with a joint fracture of her right, big toe. She also claimed she suffered an acute, non-displaced fracture of her right wrist. Petrella was subsequently treated and released. She then underwent MRIs of her neck and back, which revealed soft-tissue strains and sprains. Petrella followed up with a chiropractor and an orthopedic surgeon for treatment. Petrella’s right big toe was placed in a boot for roughly nine months, while her wrist was placed in a splint. She then further treated her wrist with home exercise due to ongoing pain. Petrella missed one week of work following the accident. She claimed that along with her ongoing wrist condition, her toe injury will be a life-long issue due to the onset of traumatic arthritis. She also claimed she deals with pain and mobility issues on a daily basis, affecting her ability to wear high heels, walk long distances, and perform other physical activities. In addition, she claimed she has ongoing lower back pain. Thus, Petrella sought recovery of $14,200 in past medical costs. She also sought recovery of damages for her past and future pain and suffering. Petrella’s husband, Ben Petrella, filed a derivative claim, seeking recovery of damages for his loss of consortium. Defense counsel asserted that Petrella’s toe injury should have resolved and that it was not a life-long, permanent injury. Counsel also asserted that Petrella suffered the wrist fracture after the initial emergency room diagnosis.
Superior Court of San Diego County, Vista, CA

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