Case details

Intersection crash caused injuries to both knees: plaintiff




Mediated Settlement

Result type

Not present

chondromalacia, chondromalacipatella, knee, meniscus, tear
On Nov. 16, 2011, plaintiff Vickie Kearney, 50, a bookkeeper, was operating her Hummer H-3 on southbound Jackson Street in Indio when she entered an intersection and was struck by a vehicle operated by Raafat Mourkus, who was attempting to make a left turn from northbound Jackson Street. The collision totaled both vehicles and Kearney claimed to both knees. Kearney sued Mourkus and the owner of Mourkus’ vehicle, Souzy Fam, Mourkus’ wife. Kearney alleged that Mourkus was negligent in the operation of his vehicle and that Fam was vicariously liable for her husband’s actions. Kearney claimed she had a green light at the intersection, but Mourkus attempted to make a left-hand turn through the intersection and onto the on-ramp for Interstate 10 West. Thus, she claimed Mourkus turned directly in front of her vehicle, causing the collision. Mourkus claimed that Kearney was also negligent for driving too fast and that the intersection is confusing., Kearney was diagnosed with a meniscal tear of the left knee, bilateral chondromalacia patellae, and degenerative changes in the patellofemoral joint of the right knee with loose bodies present. She claimed the were caused by the accident, but she was not treated at the scene or at a hospital later that day. She ultimately underwent bilateral arthroscopic knee surgery. Thus, Kearney claimed $5,151.25 in past medical costs after Howell reductions, and sought recovery of damages for her pain and suffering. Defense counsel noted that Kearney did not see her orthopedist for several weeks after the motor vehicle accident and that, although surgery was advised, Kearney continued to delay the procedure until nearly a year post-accident. Counsel also noted that medical records from Kearney’s orthopedic surgeon indicated years’ long history of knee issues, mainly in the right knee, including a prior MRI of the right knee and recommendation of surgery in 2008. Defense counsel also pointed to the post-accident bilateral knee arthroscopies, which revealed significant degenerative arthritic changes to both knees, including loose bodies and damage to the left knee’s meniscus. Thus, defense counsel asserted that the accident only exacerbated the pre-existing arthritic conditions in both knees and disputed that Kearney suffered a meniscal tear in her left knee as a result of the accident.
Superior Court of Riverside County, Indio, CA

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