Case details

Defendants disputed cause of crash that led to plaintiff being hit





Result type

Not present

ankle, fracture, knee, left knee, right ankle, tibial plateau
On Feb. 5, 2011, at approximately 11 a.m., plaintiff Deepak Grover, 38, a business owner, was driving on westbound Oso Parkway in Rancho Santa Margarita when his car broke down in the left turn lane at the intersection with Antonio Parkway. Grover claimed he got out of his car to warn other vehicles while he waited for his wife to arrive with jumper cables. As he was out of his vehicle, a collision occurred between the side of a pickup truck operated by Timothy Putnam and the front, left side of a vehicle operated by Megan Baker, both of who were approaching Grover’s stopped vehicle from behind. The impact caused Baker’s vehicle to then strike Grover, who was standing by the side of his vehicle. Grover claimed he sustained fractures to his toes, right ankle, and left knee. Grover sued Megan Baker; the father and registered owner of Ms. Baker’s vehicle, Derek Baker; Timothy Putnam; and the registered owner of the pickup truck Putnam was driving, Sunshine Makers Inc., which was the employer of Putnam’s wife. Grover alleged that Ms. Baker and Putnam were negligent in the operation of their respective vehicles. He also alleged that Mr. Baker was vicariously liable for his daughter’s actions and that Sunshine Makers was vicariously liable for Putnam’s actions. Grover claimed that both driving parties were at fault for failing to use due care as they approached his disabled vehicle. Thus, he claimed the defendant drivers caused the collision that resulted in him being struck by Ms. Baker’s vehicle. Putnam claimed the accident was caused by Ms. Baker when she changed lanes, struck the side of his truck, and then struck Grover. Ms. Baker claimed the accident occurred as a result of Putnam speeding up to catch the green, left turn arrow, causing Putnam’s truck to sideswipe her vehicle and push it into Grover. All of the defendants claimed that Grover bore the majority of the responsibility for standing outside of his vehicle at the time of the collision., Grover sustained toe fractures on both feet. He also claimed bruising and a minor fracture of his right ankle, and a fracture of the left knee’s tibial plateau. Grover was subsequently taken by ambulance to an emergency room. He then treated his conservatively with physical therapy and cortisone injections. Grover claimed that while his toes have mostly healed, he still experiences pain and discomfort in his right ankle and left knee and that he may require future surgery for both He also claimed that his condition has prohibited him from continuing to work as a self-employed home theater installer and that he had to make a career change, resulting in a significant loss of earnings. He further claimed he is restricted from exercising, hiking and partaking in activities with his children. Thus, Grover sought recovery of $24,000 in past medical costs, $75,000 in future medical costs, $53,000 in past lost earnings and $490,000 in future lost earnings. He also sought recovery of damages for his past and future pain and suffering. Defense counsel argued that Grover only sustained a few broken toes in the accident, which have since healed. Thus, counsel argued that Grover’s alleged ankle and knee were unrelated to the subject accident. Defense counsel also argued that Grover did not require any future surgery or treatment. With respect to Grover’s past-and-future-loss-of-earnings claims, defense counsel argued that Grover’s damages were speculative and unreasonable. In addition, counsel argued that Grover was earning more after the accident than he had been before the collision.
Superior Court of Orange County, Santa Ana, CA

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