Case details

Defense: Pedestrian suddenly entered road, causing accident





Result type

Not present

arm, elbow, fracture, humerus, knee, left arm, leg, lower leg, nerve, neurological, shoulder
On June 9, 2012, at approximately 1 p.m., plaintiff Ross Pollette, an artist in his 60s, was walking south on 4th Avenue in San Francisco when he attempted to cross the uncontrolled intersection at Fulton Street. While within a marked crosswalk, Pollette was struck by a vehicle traveling on westbound Fulton Street and operated Peter Lam May. Pollette claimed multiple to his left arm, elbow, shoulder, lower leg, and knee, as well as other bodily . Pollette sued Peter Lam May (who was erroneously sued as Lam Peter May) and maintainer of the roadway, the city and county of San Francisco. Pollette alleged that May was negligent in the operation of his vehicle and that the city and county were liable for the subject intersection’s dangerous condition. Prior to trial, the city and county filed a motion for summary judgment, primarily on the issue of design immunity. During the pendency of that motion, Pollette dismissed the city and county from the case in exchange for a waiver of costs. Thus, the matter proceeded to trial against defendant May only. Pollette claimed that given the time, speed, and May’s line of sight, May had sufficient perception reaction time to stop and avoid the accident. Thus, Pollette claimed that May failed to yield to a pedestrian traversing a marked crosswalk. May claimed that Pollette walked out into the street from behind a parked van. He claimed that Pollette’s entering the intersection was sudden and unexpected, causing him to not have sufficient time or distance to anticipate and avoid the impact. Thus, May claimed that Pollette was at fault for the accident. May’s counsel presented an independent eyewitness, who was driving a car behind May and who corroborated May’s account of the accident. Specifically, the witness testified that only two seconds passed between the time when Pollette appeared from behind the van and the time that May hit Pollette., Pollette sustained comminuted fractures of his left proximal tibia and fibula, as well as a comminuted fracture of his left humerus. He also sustained lacerations and abrasions to his head and limbs. Pollette was subsequently taken by ambulance to an emergency room, where he underwent open reduction and internal fixation on both his left elbow and left leg. He remained hospitalized from June 19, 2012, through June 21, 2012. His care was then transferred to a VA hospital, where he treated a handful of times before undergoing at-home physical therapy. Pollette claimed that during his recovery he went from using a wheelchair to using a walker to using a cane and that he is still hindered in his mobility as far as walking long distances. He also claimed that he is now dealing with left knee and shoulder pain. The plaintiff’s orthopedic expert opined that Pollette will require further surgery to remove the hardware. The expert also opined that Pollette will require additional physical therapy, injections, and surgery to treat a torn meniscus in the left knee. Thus, Pollette sought recovery of $233,442.49 in past medical costs, $111,500 in future medical costs, $233,442.49 in past pain and suffering, and $76,500 in future pain and suffering. Pamela Pollette initially presented a derivative claim, seeking recovery of damages for her loss of consortium. However, she ultimately dismissed her claim prior to trial. The defense’s expert orthopedic surgeon opined that Mr. Pollette will only require some future physical therapy and possibly hardware removal if the physical therapy does not resolve his condition. However, defense counsel argued that Mr. Pollette’s alleged need for knee surgery and the diagnosis of a torn meniscus were unrelated to the accident. Thus, counsel suggested future medical costs of roughly $20,000.
Superior Court of San Francisco County, San Francisco, CA

Recommended Experts


Get a FREE consultation for your case