Case details

Defense argued plaintiff took no steps to avoid collision





Result type

Not present

arm, clavicle, fracture, head, Monteggifracture, shoulder
On Sept. 1, 2011, plaintiff Joanna Kroon, 41, an online professor, was traveling in the far left eastbound lane on Pacific Coast Highway in Torrance when she broadsided a vehicle driven by Helen Tsou, who was making a left turn from westbound Pacific Coast Highway onto Anza Avenue. Kroon claimed to her right foot, left arm, and head. Kroon sued Tsou for motor vehicle negligence. Kroon claimed that Tsou was not in the left hand turn pocket, which had a red turn arrow, but attempted to turn from the far left through lane into the path of her vehicle. Thus, she contended that Tsou ran a red light and turned from the wrong lane, making Tsou negligent for making the unsafe left turn. Kroon acknowledged that she did not break prior to the collision, claiming that she did not see Tsou’s vehicle before the accident. However, the plaintiff’s accident reconstruction expert opined that there was nothing Kroon could have done to avoid the accident. Defense counsel argued that Kroon was inattentive and took no steps to avoid the collision. Thus, counsel contended that Kroon was at least partially liable for the accident. In response, plaintiff’s counsel disputed the claim that Kroon was negligent for the accident., After the collision, Kroon was transported to a hospital, where she stayed for eight days. She sustained a Monteggia fracture of her right foot, which constituted a fracture of the proximal third of the ulna with a dislocation of the radial head. She also sustained a Lisfranc injury to her left, non-dominant ulna, a fracture to her left clavicle, and a laceration to her head. Kroon required open reduction and internal fixation for both the Monteggia fracture on Sept. 3, 2011, and the Lisfranc injury on Sept. 7, 2011, both at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance. Kroon claimed she has pain with walking and any other activity involving her feet. She also claimed a permanent lapse of the range of motion to her left, non-dominant arm with a 12 percent reduction. Kroon further claimed that she was bedridden for three months and was unable to teach for those three months. The plaintiff’s orthopedic surgery expert opined that Kroon would require fusion surgery to her right foot, costing approximately $23,000. However, the expert opined that Kroon would still have lifelong pain. Thus, plaintiff’s counsel asked the jury to award Kroon over $800,000 in total damages. Defense counsel stipulated to all of Kroon’s past care and medical bills, which amounted to $70,699, contending that Kroon’s past medical treatment and care was reasonable. Counsel also did not dispute Kroon’s past lost earnings in the amount of $3,333. However, defense counsel did dispute the claim that Kroon would require fusion surgery on her foot, which would cost approximately $23,000. Defense counsel noted that Kroon was morbidly obese, and argued that Kroon failed to mitigate her by not reducing her weight or exercising. Counsel also argued that if Kroon exercised and increased her strength, she would not require the fusion surgery. The defense’s orthopedic surgery expert testified that Kroon’s were caused by the subject accident and that her care was reasonable. However, the expert opined that Kroon would not require additional surgery on her foot if Kroon mitigated her damages. Thus, according to plaintiff’s counsel, defense counsel argued that the jury should only award Kroon $70,699 in past medical costs, $3,333 in past loss of earnings, and $100,000 in total general damages.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Pomona, CA

Recommended Experts


Get a FREE consultation for your case