Case details

Improper left turn caused wrist and shoulder injuries: plaintiff





Result type

Not present

arm, biceps tendon, elbow, fracture, glenoid labrum, left wrist, right shoulder, shoulder, tear, wrist
On Jan. 14, 2015, plaintiff Randolph Robledo, 55, a high-school football coach, was stopped on his motorcycle on Gribble Drive, at the intersection with Lausanne Drive, in San Diego, when he was struck by a Pontiac Vibe compact hatchback that was making a left turn onto Gribble Drive from Lausanne Drive. During the turn, the Pontiac entered Robledo’s lane and its front driver’s side struck Robledo’s motorcycle. Robledo subsequently fell to the ground, and he claimed to his left wrist and right shoulder. Robledo sued the driver of the Pontiac, Vondale Monique Avery, and the Pontiac’s owner, Wilson Avery. Robledo alleged that Ms. Avery was negligent in the operation of her vehicle and that Mr. Avery was vicariously liable for Ms. Avery’s actions. Mr. Avery was ultimately dismissed from the case, and Ms. Avery stipulated to liability. Thus, the matter was litigated on the issues of causation and damages., Robledo was taken by ambulance to an emergency room, where he was diagnosed with a distal radius fracture of the left wrist, necessitating an emergency open reduction and internal fixation. He alleged that he began experiencing right-shoulder pain a few weeks later and subsequently underwent radiographic imaging of the shoulder. Robledo was ultimately diagnosed with a biceps tendon tear and a glenoid labrum tear/SLAP (superior labral tear from anterior to posterior). As a result, he put on a two-month course of physical therapy. On Jan. 22, 2016, after conservative treatment was unsuccessful, Robledo underwent an arthroscopy and debridement of his right shoulder. Around the same time, he had the surgical hardware removed from his left wrist. He further treated with a brief course of physical therapy and followed up with his surgeon. No further treatment was administered. Robledo’s shoulder surgeon causally related Robledo’s shoulder to the accident. According to Robledo’s billing expert, the billed medical costs were reasonable. Robledo claimed that he experienced limited range of motion in his shoulder during his treatment. However, other than intermittent soreness in his wrist and shoulder, he made a full recovery. Thus, Robledo sought recovery of approximately $130,000 in past medical costs. (Since Robledo did not have automobile insurance, he could not collect damages for an alleged pain and suffering, per California Proposition 213, which states that uninsured drivers do not get to collect an award for pain and suffering, even when the car accident is not their fault.) The defense’s orthopedic surgery expert conceded that Robledo suffered a wrist fracture from the accident, but disputed the shoulder tear, given that Robledo did not initially complain of shoulder pain following the accident. The defense’s billing expert opined that, based on the coding and Robledo’s treatment, Robledo’s medical costs were only around $40,000.
Superior Court of San Diego County, San Diego, CA

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