Case details

Man on adult tricycle claimed brain injury from crash





Result type

Not present

brain, brain injury, cognition, face, fracture, frontal lobe contusion, mental, neck, neuropsychological, nose, psychological, traumatic brain injury
On the morning of Nov. 11, 2012, plaintiff Thomas Busch, 26, a cashier at Walmart, was riding his adult tricycle north on Northpark Drive in Valencia when he entered the crosswalk at the intersection of Angelica Drive and was struck by a vehicle attempting to make a left turn from Northpark Drive onto Angelica Drive. The impact knocked Busch off his tricycle and caused him to hit his head on the pavement. Busch sued the driver of the vehicle, Janet Shusta-Recchia. He alleged the defendant was negligent in the operation of her vehicle. He claimed that after stopping for a stop sign, he proceeded into the crosswalk when, within seconds, Shusta-Recchia struck him. Busch contended that Shusta-Recchia failed to yield to his tricycle as she was too focused with a car on the opposite side of the intersection and failed to see him to her left. Shusta-Recchia did not dispute liability for the accident., Busch was taken to an emergency room by ambulance. He sustained a non-displaced basilar fracture of his skull, as well as a non-displaced left lamina papyracea (nasal) fracture and a non-displaced cervical fracture at the C1 level. A CT scan of his brain revealed non-specific fluid buildup at the left frontal lobe. Busch claimed that he sustained a moderate traumatic brain injury from the accident, resulting in mild cognitive deficits. He ultimately treated his neck injury with physical therapy, off and on for roughly a year, and treated with a psychiatrist twice after the accident for post-traumatic stress disorder. Busch claimed that he suffers from memory deficits and interruption in his executive functions as a result of his brain injury. He also claimed that his job at Walmart was changed from cashier to photo technician, since he developed some difficulty using the cash register. Busch further claimed that his nasal fracture interfered with his sense of smell, and that he still experiences aches and pains in his neck. However, he contended that his post-traumatic stress disorder has resolved. At the time of the accident, Busch was taking a year off from school with the intent of going to grad school for special education teaching. Since the crash, he claimed that he is now concerned it will be too difficult to obtain a master’s degree due to his cognitive deficits. Thus, Busch sought recovery of $30,000 in damages for his past medical costs, and an unspecified amount of damages for his future cognitive rehabilitation and for his past and future pain and suffering. Defense counsel did not dispute the plaintiff’s fractures and treatment, but contended that Busch did not suffer a brain injury from the accident. Counsel further contended that even if Busch did suffer a brain injury, it was minor and had already resolved. As such, defense counsel claimed that Busch was not limited in his capacity to obtain a master’s degree.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Chatsworth, CA

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