Case details

Driver claimed bicyclist struck his stopped sport utility vehicle





Result type

Not present

back, cervical, lumbar, neck, sprain, strain
On Jan. 6, 2010, plaintiff Juan Alvarez, 41, was riding his bicycle, against the flow of traffic, on the sidewalk along Bayshore Boulevard in San Francisco. As he entered the intersection with Hester Avenue, Alvarez struck a sport utility vehicle operated by Defen He, who was driving down Hester Avenue toward the intersection with Bayshore Boulevard, where there is a crosswalk but no stop sign. Alvarez claimed that he injured his back and neck, as well as both hips and shoulders, as a result of hitting his bicycle into the right side of the SUV. Alvarez sued Defen He and the co-owner of the SUV, Rong He. Alvarez alleged that Defen He was negligent in the operation of his vehicle and that Rong He was vicariously liable for Defen He’s actions. Rong He was ultimately dismissed from the case, and the matter continued to trial against Defen He only. Alvarez claimed that Defen He was speeding and failed to stop at the intersection. Thus, Alvarez claimed that Defen He’s vehicle appeared too quickly in front of his bicycle to be able to stop in time or avoid striking the SUV. Defen He claimed he stopped once before the crosswalk and then again in the crosswalk as he looked to the left for oncoming traffic. However, he claimed that as he was stopped in the crosswalk, Alvarez’s bicycle collided with the right side of his car. Thus, defense counsel argued that Defen He lawfully entered the crosswalk, as he did not see anyone approaching, and had no reason to expect a bicycle quickly approaching from his right., Alvarez carried his bicycle away from the scene of the accident and walked to a bus stop. The following day, he presented to a chiropractor. Alvarez claimed he sustained soft-tissue , including strains and sprains to the lumbar and cervical levels of his spine, as well as to both hips and shoulders. Alvarez alleged that he developed cervicocranial syndrome, a neurologic condition caused by the injury of the spinal sympathetic nerves in his neck. He also alleged that he developed muscle spasms and subluxation of his cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine. As a result, Alvarez treated with purely chiropractic treatment, which included physiotherapy and spinal manipulation, until March 15, 2010. Alvarez claimed that he still has pain, though his physicians opined that everything resolved.
Superior Court of San Francisco County, San Francisco, CA

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