Case details

Driver’s failure to yield resulted in pedestrian’s injuries: suit





Result type

Not present

bilateral orbital fracture, chest, head, non-displaced fractures of 11 ribs, subarachnoid hemorrhage, subdural hematoma
On March 12, 2015, plaintiff Jose Cordero, 89, a retiree, was walking north on the sidewalk along the eastern side of Alpine Road, approaching a three-way T-intersection with Stowe Lane, in Menlo Park. As he attempted to cross Stowe Lane, Cordero was struck by a vehicle driven by Todd Anhalt, who was attempting to make a left turn from southbound Alpine Road onto eastbound Stowe Lane. Cordero claimed of his head and chest. Cordero sued Anhalt, alleging that Anhalt was negligent in the operation of his vehicle. Cordero contended that he checked to make sure traffic was clear before he stepped off the sidewalk and that he had almost reached the midway point of Stowe Lane when he was hit. He claimed that he was in a legal crossing area, despite it being unmarked, and that Anhalt failed to exercise due caution in searching for, and yielding to, pedestrians when making a left turn. Anhalt conceded liability once the facts of the case were discussed during negotiations between the parties., At the accident scene, Cordero complained of pain to his chest and head. As a result, he was placed in an ambulance and transported to Stanford Hospital, in Stanford, where he immediately underwent a CT scan of his head and an X-ray of his chest. The tests revealed that Cordero had sustained a subdural hematoma, a subarachnoid hemorrhage, a bilateral orbital fracture, and non-displaced fractures of 11 ribs. He was also diagnosed with multiple lacerations to his head and face. Cordero was kept in the emergency room for five days as doctors monitored and tracked his brain injury to make sure it did not get worse. Once it was determined that the trauma to Cordero’s head had receded and stabilized, he was sent home. Thereafter, Cordero only received minor treatment to help relieve the pain and discomfort from his fractures, as they gradually healed on their own. Cordero acknowledged that he traveled to Spain in June 2015 and remained there until February 2016. Although he did not receive any professional treatment during the prolonged period overseas, he claimed that he experienced the onset of several new symptoms during the trip, including short-term memory loss, frequently losing his balance, and overall weakness due to atrophy. In May 2016, Cordero commenced a two-month course of physical and occupational therapy to address his symptoms. However, he claimed that he continued to have issues with his memory and balance following the treatment. Plaintiff’s counsel argued that Cordero can never be left alone anymore and requires someone to walk with him at all times. Thus, counsel contended that Cordero can no longer live the active, independent lifestyle that he was accustomed to. The plaintiff’s doctors recommended that Cordero receive future psychiatric therapy to see if it could address the emotional issues caused by losing his independence. However, they also warned that nothing could be done to reverse the condition, if it was determined that Cordero was suffering from brain dysfunction. Thus, Cordero sought recovery of past and future medical costs, and damages for his past and future pain and suffering. Defense counsel argued that Cordero’s current condition was caused by the natural effects of aging, rather than the sustained in the accident. Counsel also contested the claim that Cordero required 24-hour attending care moving forward and countered that four to six hours of care per day would be sufficient. Defense counsel further claimed that any damages for future loss should be based on a life expectancy of four years, as opposed to the eight years that Cordero’s counsel alleged.
Superior Court of San Mateo County, Redwood City, CA

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