Case details

Crash caused eventual need for knee replacement: passenger





Result type

Not present

fracture, leg
On June 21, 2010, plaintiff Anastasia Harris, 46, an elementary school bus driver, was a front seat passenger in a GMC Yukon operated by her father, Leandros Raftogianis. As they were traveling north on Interstate 5, Raftogianis fell asleep, causing the vehicle to leave the roadway and impact a large oak tree. Harris was secured by her seat belt and her children were in the backseat when the vehicle’s airbags deployed. The children suffered relatively minor , while Harris claimed leg and knee . Harris sued Raftogianis, alleging the defendant was negligent in the operation of the GMC Yukon. Raftogianis admitted liability for the accident. Plaintiff’s counsel filed a motion in limine to exclude evidence of the fact that the defendant was the plaintiff’s father, given the admitted liability and inability of the plaintiff to refer to liability insurance. Counsel argued that any evidence of familial relationship was overly prejudicial and not probative. The court found such evidence irrelevant and overly prejudicial in light of the admitted liability. Thus, it granted plaintiff’s counsel’s motion., Harris suffered a comminuted depressed proximal tibial fracture of her lower, right leg and knee. She was subsequently taken by ambulance to a Kaiser Permanente medical center, where she was stabilized and then transported to Doctors Hospital of Manteca. At the second hospital, Harris underwent internal fixation surgery. She was then released to obtain surgery in Southern California at Foothill Presbyterian Hospital by her treating physician, who performed both internal and external fixation. Harris has since undergone hardware removal surgery in Georgia. However, she claimed she continues to suffer daily pain in her right, lower leg and knee, but is able to continue working as a school bus driver. She alleged that two surgeries are anticipated for a total right knee replacement, as agreed upon by both her and the defense’s medical experts. Harris further alleged that her scarring is extensive given the surgeries performed and that plastic surgery in anticipated. Thus, Harris sought recovery of approximately $65,000 for past medical costs, approximately $100,000 for future medical costs, approximately $5,000 for past wage loss, approximately $15,000 for future wage loss, and approximately $20,000 for out-of-pocket costs. Harris’ husband, Bruce Harris, sought recovery of damages for his loss of consortium. Defense counsel argued the non-economic damages were not as severe as Ms. Harris alleged. Counsel also questioned Ms. Harris’ claim of weight gain since the injury and the extent of Ms. Harris’ husband’s loss of consortium.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Pomona, CA

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