Case details

Motorcyclist and passenger struck by van claimed multiple injuries





Result type

Not present

arm, chest, elbow, fracture, humerus, rib
On June 10, 2011, plaintiff Ronald Capodieci, 56, a scheduler with Lockheed Martin, was riding his motorcycle on westbound Culver Boulevard in Los Angeles, accompanied by a passenger, plaintiff Gaylene Clark, 51, a registered nurse. At approximately 11:10 a.m., they entered the intersection with Centinela Avenue and were struck by an Alamo rental van operated by a British Military personnel, who was stopped in the middle of the intersection on a green light, before attempting a left turn from eastbound Culver Boulevard onto northbound Centinela Avenue. The motorcycle subsequently swerved and went down, ejecting both Capodieci and Clark upon impact. Clark claimed to her right shoulder and elbow, while Capodieci claimed an injury to his left thumb and multiple ribs. Capodieci and Clark brought claims against the United States of America. Capodieci and Clark alleged that, pursuant to a NATO-SOFA Treaty, the Federal Government was liable for the subject accident due to the negligence of the British Military personnel driving the van. They also alleged that the case was viable under the Federal Tort Claims Act against the United States of America. Liability was ultimately admitted, and the matter proceeded to assess damages., Capodieci and Clark were both taken from the scene of the accident by ambulance and brought to an emergency room. Capodieci sustained a comminuted fracture of the metacarpal base of his left thumb and fractures to his fifth, sixth and seventh ribs. He subsequently underwent surgery on his thumb in the form of a closed reduction with hardware inserted. Capodieci also developed pain at the metacarpal joint of the index finger and underwent exploratory surgery on Jan. 13, 2012, to remove osteoarthritic tissue. Capodieci claimed he was unable to work for seven weeks following the accident. Thus, he sought recovery of $32,119 in past medical costs and $10,113 in past loss of earnings, as well as sought recovery of damages for his pain and suffering. Clark sustained a comminuted fracture of her right humeral head and a fracture of her right olecranon. Two weeks after the accident, she underwent a right shoulder hemiarthroplasty, as well as open reduction with internal fixation of the right elbow fractures. Thereafter, Clark received treatment from a pain management specialist, underwent vigorous physical therapy, and received treatment from a psychologist for her diagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder. Clark claimed she has limited range of motion in her right shoulder/elbow and was unable to work as a nurse for five months after the accident. On Feb. 3, 2012, she underwent surgery to remove the hardware from her right elbow. She claimed she will eventually require additional surgery on her right shoulder. Thus, Clark sought recovery of $111,488 in past medical costs, $75,000 in future medical costs and $30,000 in past loss of earnings, as well as sought recovery of damages for her pain and suffering. Defense counsel contended that both Capodieci and Clark made excellent recoveries and fully returned to their previous employment.
Matter not filed, CA

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