Case details

Defense: Pedestrian entered intersection outside of crosswalk





Result type

Not present

brain, traumatic brain injury
On April 12, 2011, at approximately 3:30 p.m., plaintiff Bella Vitushkina, 76, was crossing Noe Street at the intersection with 17th Street in San Francisco when she was struck by a solar installation van operated by Steven Shalendra. Vitushkina suffered crush to her lower extremities, a traumatic brain injury and various other . Vitushkina sued Shalendra and the owner of the van, Luminalt Energy Corp., which was also Shalendra’s employer. Vitushkina alleged that Shalendra was negligent in the operation of the van and that Luminalt was vicariously liable for Shalendra’s actions. Shalendra is no longer employed by Luminalt, and he provided no testimony and did not appear at trial. Thus, the case only proceeded against Luminalt. Vitushkina claimed she entered the intersection at the crosswalk and was within the crosswalk at the time of the accident. Thus, she claimed that Luminalt failed to yield the right of way. Defense counsel contended that Vitushkina entered the intersection outside of the crosswalk and stepped out into the roadway from between parked cars. Counsel also contended that Vitushkina walked into the side of the van., Vitushkina sustained crush to her lower extremities and various other fractures, as well as a traumatic brain injury and an occipital laceration. She was subsequently taken by ambulance to San Francisco General Hospital after the collision. Vitushkina was ultimately discharged to an inpatient rehabilitation center, where she rehabilitated for one month. However, while she was at the rehabilitation center, she developed an infection to her left leg and was taken to Saint Mary’s Hospital for emergency surgery. She subsequently remained an inpatient there for a few weeks while her leg stabilized. Vitushkina then returned to the rehabilitation center, where she completed her rehabilitation. Approximately nine months after she completed rehabilitation, Vitushkina suffered a fall and was hospitalized again. She claimed that she fell due to the weakening of her legs from the Luminalt accident. She also claimed that she now suffers constant pain in her legs and cannot leave her home without assistance. Vitushkina, a Russian language speaker, now 78 year old, claimed that she was independent prior to the Luminalt accident, but that she now requires assistance with daily activities, including dressing and going to the bathroom. In addition, she claimed that she is now a recluse and has developed depression, mood disorders and a cognitive decline. Thus, Vitushkina sought recovery of $16.75 million in total damages, including recovery for her past and future pain and suffering, and past and future medical costs related to her and residual symptoms that include severe mobility impairment.
Superior Court of San Francisco County, San Francisco, CA

Recommended Experts


Get a FREE consultation for your case