Case details

Defense: Motorcyclist failed to establish driver of vehicle in crash





Result type

Not present

fracture, left leg, leg, limp, tibia
On Feb. 13, 2012, plaintiff Crystal Harguess, 36, was operating a motorcycle on northbound Nimitz Boulevard, in San Diego. As she neared the entrance to Interstate 8 (also known as the Ocean Beach Freeway), the left side of Harguess’ motorcycle was struck by a vehicle traveling northeast on Sunset Cliffs Boulevard and attempting to enter Interstate 8. Harguess injured her left leg in the accident. Harguess sued the believed driver of the vehicle, Adam Hurley; the owner of Hurley’s vehicle, Melissa Ramstead; and Hurley’s insurer, USAA. Harguess alleged that Hurley was negligent in the operation of his vehicle and Ramstead was vicariously liable for Hurley’s actions. She also alleged that USAA acted in bad faith. Harguess, who was acting in pro per, claimed that Hurley’s vehicle was traveling northeast on Sunset Cliffs Boulevard when he ran a red light and collided with the left side of her motorcycle. She also claimed that Hurley’s insurer, USAA, failed to offer open policy limits. Prior to trial, USAA offered to tender Hurley’s $30,000 policy limit in an attempt to settle with Harguess, but Harguess rejected the offer. USAA then filed a demurrer. Following Harguess’ testimony, counsel for Hurley and Ramstead moved for a directed verdict, arguing that Harguess failed to establish the driver of the second vehicle., Harguess was taken by ambulance to the emergency room at Scripps Mercy Hospital, in San Diego. She was diagnosed with a fracture of the left, distal tibia. Several days after the accident, Harguess underwent open reduction and internal fixation surgery. She then followed up with physical therapy. Harguess claimed that she continues to suffer from chronic pain, a permanent limp, and an altered gait. She also complained that she has difficulty walking and running. She claimed that as a result, she believes she will require additional surgery, including a possible ankle fusion. At the time of trial, Harguess was awaiting hardware removal surgery.
Superior Court of San Diego County, San Diego, CA

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