Case details

Defense: Motorcyclist only sustained soft-tissue injuries





Result type

Not present

back, chest, hand, head, left foot, left foot fracture, lumbar injury, rib injury, shoulder pain, traumatic brain injury, wrist sprain
At around 5 p.m. on May 3, 2013, plaintiff Cynthia Williams, 53, was operating her motorcycle in San Jose when a sport utility vehicle operated by Devisree Suresh made a left turn in front of her. Williams claimed to her chest, hand, back, left foot, and head. Williams sued Devisree Suresh and the registered owner of the SUV, Kumar Suresh. Williams alleged that Devisree Suresh was negligent in the operation of the SUV and that Kumar Suresh was vicariously liable for Devisree Suresh’s actions. The Sureshes conceded liability at trial., Williams claimed that she suffered a traumatic brain injury, a rib injury, a left wrist sprain, a left foot fracture, and a lumbar injury. She received medical attention from paramedics at the scene of the accident, but refused to be transported by ambulance to a hospital, as she wanted to make sure her motorcycle was towed to her home. Williams then drove herself to the emergency room at Good Samaritan Hospital, in San Jose, an hour or two later and complained of pain to her left side. The plaintiff’s expert neurosurgeon testified that lumbar surgery would eventually be required by Williams with a reasonable degree of medical probability. However, on cross-examination, the plaintiff’s expert said the surgery was “possible.” According to plaintiff’s counsel, the expert neurosurgeon was confused between probable versus possible, which led to Judge Carrie Zepeda to question the witness directly. The expert again said the surgery was only “possible.” As a result, the expert’s testimony regarding Williams’ future back surgery was stricken. Plaintiff’s counsel ultimately asked the jury during closing arguments to award Williams $1.2 million in damages, primarily for the brain injury. Defense counsel disputed causation, contending that Williams only suffered minor soft-tissue and a bruised rib cage. Defense counsel noted that three days after the accident, on May 6, 2013, Williams saw an orthopedist with complaints of pain to her left hand and shoulder, but denied any head trauma even though she hit her head on the SUV upon impact. Williams then continued to treat with the orthopedist and his group, Northern California Orthopedic Specialists, in the succeeding months for left-side , which included to her left knee, ankle, and lumbar spine. However, defense counsel contended that Williams only first complained of “fuzziness in the head” with persisting headaches and nausea when she walked into the emergency room at El Camino Hospital, in Mountain View, on May 11, 2013, eight days after the subject accident. As a result, Williams received a CT scan of the head. In addition, defense counsel contended that Williams only began treating with a neurologist for alleged traumatic brain injury/post-concussion symptoms upon the referral for an attorney on June 11, 2013. In addition, defense counsel contended that Williams had a prior medical condition for which she was regularly receiving pain management care from 2004 to 2013. Thus, counsel argued that Williams’ residual complaints had no relationship to the subject traffic accident and recommended that the jury only award Williams $7,184, which included $2,184 for past medical bills and $5,000 for general damages.
Superior Court of Santa Clara County, Santa Clara, CA

Recommended Experts


Get a FREE consultation for your case