Case details

Driver talking on cell phone struck her, pedestrian claimed





Result type

Not present

anxiety, cervical, cervical elbow, depression, mental, neck, psychological, sprain, strain
Between approximately 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 16, 2009, plaintiff Jane Zhang Ma, an unemployed 41 year old, was crossing Fillmore Street at an intersection with Geary Boulevard in San Francisco. Ma claimed she was struck by a vehicle operated by Xerxes Jimmy Dorabjee, who was attempting a left turn from westbound Geary Boulevard onto southbound Fillmore Street. Ma dropped her groceries on the ground, but did not fall, and she claimed to her neck, back and right elbow. Ma sued Dorabjee. She alleged the defendant was negligent in the operation of his vehicle. The matter proceeded to an expedited jury trial. Ma claimed that she crossed the intersection on a green pedestrian light in an unmarked crosswalk, when the right side of her body was struck by the rear, driver-side of Dorabjee’s vehicle. She alleged that Dorabjee was negligent for being on his cell phone and not paying attention at the time of the accident. Plaintiff’s counsel also argued that the defendant owed a higher duty of care as the driver, and presented two eyewitnesses whom confirmed that Dorabjee was on his cell phone and struck Ma. Dorabjee claimed that he was not negligent and that Ma was the sole proximate cause of the accident because she walked into the path of his vehicle. He also claimed that he was not on his cell phone and that Ma was negligent for crossing the street outside of a marked crosswalk. Dorabjee further claimed that he heard a thud from the back of his vehicle and then saw the plaintiff holding her arm, but wasn’t sure if his vehicle actually made any contact with Ma. In addition, defense counsel presented an eyewitness whom corroborated with Dorabjee’s account of the accident., Ma suffered a contusion to her right, dominant elbow and went to her primary care physician the day after the accident. She was then referred to a chiropractor on Nov. 19, 2009, and treated for lumbar and cervical strains and sprains through Feb. 12, 2010. However, when she continued to complain of ongoing back pain, Ma treated with an orthopedist and subsequently followed up with seven sessions of physical therapy through May 2010. Ma claimed that she requires further treatment for her ailing back, which prevents her from jogging, heavy lifting and sitting for long periods. Thus, she claimed $6,048 in past medical costs, and sought recovery of an unspecified amount of damages for her past and future pain and suffering. The parties stipulated to $50 in property damage for Ma’s groceries. Defense counsel argued that Ma’s treatment was unreasonable and unnecessary because she did not fall down during the accident.
Superior Court of San Francisco County, San Francisco, CA

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