Case details

Defense: Bicyclist made no complaints of pain at hospital





Result type

Not present

brain, concussion, head
Plaintiff Valentino Buttarazzi was riding his bicycle on the right shoulder of a California street when he was stuck by a vehicle operated by Rodney Medinilla, who continued down the street before pulling over. Eyewitnesses observed the incident and notified Medinilla that he had struck Buttarazzi. However, Buttarazzi had no recollection of the incident. Buttarazzi sued Medinilla for motor vehicle negligence. He claimed that Medinilla was negligent for not keeping a proper lookout. Medinilla claimed that he did not see Buttarazzi, but heard the impact. However, he claimed that he did realize he actually struck Buttarazzi until eyewitnesses had told him., Buttarazzi was briefly knocked unconscious and subsequently taken by ambulance to a hospital. He sustained a laceration to his spleen, a concussion and abrasions to his nose and hip area, though he suffered no broken bones. Buttarazzi was hospitalized for four days and was limited to his presented . Subsequently, Buttarazzi was found to have previously undiagnosed Stage IV pancreatic cancer and underwent testing for the cancer at the same time that he convalesced from the accident. Buttarazzi resumed his biking and swimming regimen in fairly short order after his release. However, he testified that the only lingering effect of the accident was that his hips feel “tight” when he swims and that he cannot maintain the same form of stroke in the pool as he did before. Thus, Buttarazzi claimed $350 in property damage and $7,784 in medical costs. Defense counsel argued that Buttarazzi complained of no pain during the ambulance trip, and he denied any pain upon arrival at the emergency room or throughout his time in the hospital. Additionally, counsel contended that when the investigating police officers arrived to interview Buttarazzi, he was singing in his hospital bed and in good spirits. Defense counsel also noted that Buttarazzi took none of the pain medications prescribed to him at hospital, other than a couple of tablets of Tylenol.
Superior Court of Santa Barbara County, Santa Barbara, CA

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