Case details

Drivers in intersection crash each claimed right of way





Result type

Not present

fracture, hip
On May 20, 2008, at approximately 12:20 p.m., plaintiff Anna Hart, 70, a retiree, was driving south on Willow Avenue in Clovis when she attempted to make a left turn at the intersection with Spruce Avenue. As she entered the intersection she was involved in a collision with a vehicle operated by Kelly Farrow, who was traveling straight on northbound Willow Avenue. Hart claimed to her left shoulder and hip. Hart sued Farrow. She alleged that the defendant was negligent in the operation of her vehicle. Hart claimed that she entered the subject intersection on a green left turn arrow and that Farrow ran a red light. She alleged that as a result, the left front corner of Farrow’s vehicle struck the right front corner of her vehicle. Farrow claimed that she entered the intersection on a yellow light, and that it was Hart who ran a red light and struck her vehicle. Defense counsel presented at trial the videotaped deposition testimony of Farrow’s passenger at the time of the accident, who corroborated Farrow’s description of the accident. The investigating police report for the accident did not attribute any fault for the collision., Two days after the accident, Hart presented to her orthopedic surgeon with complaints of pain to her left, non-dominant shoulder and left hip. She was ultimately diagnosed with an impaction fracture/trochanteric bursitis of her left hip and followed up with physical therapy. In October 2008, Hart underwent arthroscopic surgery and debridement for her left shoulder and followed up with more physical therapy, ultimately totaling in 64 physical therapy visits. Hart claimed that even though she previously underwent a left hip replacement in 2005, she was asymptomatic prior to the accident. She claimed that following the 2008 crash, the sacroiliac and bursa injections for her hip were not successful, and she will require a bursa excision with lengthening of the iliotibial band. Hart also claimed that because of her hip condition, she does not go out as much and her visits to her grandchildren have diminished. Thus, Hart sought recovery of $17,426.97 in damages for her past medical costs, $18,000 in damages for her future medical costs, $217,728 fin damages for her past pain and suffering, and $46,720 in damages for her future pain and suffering. The defense’s accident reconstruction expert testified that due to the direction of force in the collision, there was no mechanism for injury to Hart’s left side. The defense’s expert orthopedist further contended that Hart had a large calcium deposit in her left shoulder prior to the accident, indicating a pre-existing degenerative condition, and that there was no evidence that Hart suffered an impaction fracture to her left hip.
Superior Court of Fresno County, Clovis, CA

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