Case details

Defense: Plaintiff’s shoulder changes were not traumatic





Result type

Not present

shoulder, shoulder impingement
On June 28, 2016, plaintiff Hadi Hedayati, 64, a retiree, was bicycling on Ohio Avenue, near the intersection with Westwood Boulevard, in Westwood. He collided with a vehicle operated by Maria Whitesell, who was making a right turn from Westwood Boulevard into the Bristol Farms parking lot. Hedayati claimed to his back and right shoulder. Hedayati sued Whitesell and the co-owner of the vehicle, Sean Whitesell. Hedayati alleged that Maria Whitesell was negligent in the operation of her vehicle and that Sean Whitesell was vicariously liable for Maria Whitesell’s actions. Sean Whitesell passed away on Dec. 28, 2015, and was ultimately removed from the case. Hedayati claimed that Maria Whitesell failed to keep a proper lookout and made an unsafe turn in front of his bicycle, causing the crash. Whitesell claimed that, prior to the incident, she negotiated a left turn onto Westwood Boulevard on a green light and that she was traveling less than 5 mph when she attempted the right turn into Bristol Farms. She claimed that she was three-quarters of the way into to the parking lot when she felt Hedayati’s bicycle impact the rear of her vehicle. Whitesell claimed that Hedayati was inattentive in the operation of his bicycle., Hedayati claimed that he suffered pain to his back and right shoulder after the accident. He later presented to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, in Torrance, with complaints of pain to his right shoulder on July 2, 2016. He ultimately underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left glenohumeral joint on Oct.13, 2016. The procedure included subacromial decompression, a bursectomy, debridement and a synovectomy. Hedayati sought recovery of $56,851.02 in past medical costs, an unspecified amount of future medical costs, and an unspecified amount of general damages for his past and future pain and suffering. Defense counsel disputed causation and Hedayati’s alleged damages. Counsel contended that the MRI showed tears of the supraspinatus and infraspinatus tendons with degenerative changes, a complete loss of cartilage, osteophytosis (or bone spurs that often is a result of arthritis due to aging) and joint effusion. The defense’s expert orthopedic surgeon, who performed an independent medical examination of Hedayati, opined that not only was the surgery to Hedayati’s shoulder unrelated to the accident, but it did not help any of Hedayati’s pathology. He also opined that Hedayati had major degenerative changes that were not traumatic in nature and not caused by the accident.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Van Nuys, CA

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