Case details

Driver swerved into bike lane, struck him and fled scene: bicyclist





Result type

Not present

brain, cognition, concussion, dislocation, elbow, head, headaches, mental, psychological
On July 15, 2016, plaintiff Erik Brue, 41, was bicycling in the bicycle lane on westbound Portola Parkway, in Irvine, when he was struck by the front, passenger side tire and passenger side mirror of a 2005 Ford F-650 truck, which was operated by Pedro Ixtlahuaca and contained co-employees German Zuniga and Jesus Palacios as passengers. The mirror shattered on the back of Brue’s head, and he also sustained to an elbow and a leg. Ixtlahuaca failed to stop, as did a vehicle driven by Daniel Nichols, who was in front of Ixtlahuaca’s vehicle. The Irvine Police Department investigated the accident and its officers recovered glass fragments at the scene that matched the missing mirror on the F-650 driven by Ixtlahuaca. The investigating officers also observed blood, skin and tissue on the front, passenger side tire of the F-650. As a result, Ixtlahuaca was arrested for a hit and run causing injury, and the Orange County District Attorney’s Office charged him with a felony, per California Vehicle Code § 20001. A criminal case is pending. Brue sued Ixtlahuaca; Zuniga; Palacios; Nichols; and the individuals’ employer, So. Cal. Sandbags Inc. Brue alleged that Ixtlahuaca and Nichols were negligent in the operation of their respective vehicles and that So. Cal. Sandbags was liable for the individuals’ actions while in the course and scope of their employment. Palacios and Zuniga were ultimately dismissed from the case. Plaintiff’s counsel asserted that Ixtlahuaca was driving under the influence, began to swerve and crossed the yellow line into the bike lane, where he struck Brue., Brue sustained blunt force trauma to his head and lost consciousness. He also sustained abrasions and contusions to his left shoulder, hip, calf and lower extremity, as well as a dislocation of his left elbow, resulting in pain. In addition, he suffered a contusion to his chest wall and a complex laceration to the lateral aspect of his left leg. Brue claimed that he suffered a concussion and that he lost memory about accident. On July 15, 2016, he underwent surgery, which included a debridement and a complex closure of the subcutaneous tissue and fascia, to treat the traumatic wound on his left leg. Brue claimed that he is left with headaches, lower back pain and intermittent word recall. However, he has no work restrictions or limitations. Brue sought recovery of $56,000 in medical costs. He also sought recovery of non-economic damages for his pain and suffering, and punitive damages for Ixtlahuaca’s hit and run and his alleged driving under the influence. Defense counsel asserted that Brue did not suffer a brain injury and that if he did, it was mild and resolved quickly. Counsel also asserted that all of Brue’s resolved quickly and that Brue had no long term deficits.
Superior Court of Orange County, Orange, CA

Recommended Experts


Get a FREE consultation for your case