Case details

Motorcyclist claimed a traumatic brain injury from crash





Result type

Not present

anosmia, blunt force trauma to the head, brain, brain injury, cognition, coma, dental, face, facial, fracture, fractured teeth shoulder, head, impairment, LeFort fracture, mental, nose, psychological, sensory, skull fractures, speech, subarachnoid hemorrhage, traumatic brain injury
On June 7, 2012, at approximately 5 p.m., plaintiff Derrick Evans, 40, a technician, was riding his motorcycle on Division Street, in Lancaster. When a vehicle driven by Judy Regan made a left turn in front of him, a collision resulted, causing Evans to go over Regan’s vehicle and land on the ground. Evans sustained multiple facial and skull fractures. Evans sued Regan, alleging that Regan was negligent in the operation of her vehicle. Evans later named entities as defendants that he believed were Regan’s employer, Charter College LLC and Prospect Education, LLC. He contended that Regan was driving in the course and scope of her employment, making Charter College and Prospect Education liable for Regan’s actions. Plaintiff’s counsel contended that Regan would use her vehicle for work purposes, in her capacity as a loan counselor, and that Regan had previously used her vehicle for job-related purposes eight months before the accident in question. According to Regan, she was on her way home at the time of the accident. Counsel for Charter College and Prospect Education disputed the plaintiff’s contention that Regan was driving in the scope of her employment. Counsel argued that the employers had no policy mandating that their employees use their car for work purposes. Thus, counsel for Charter College and Prospect Education argued that Regan was not driving as part of her employment and that the employers were not liable for anything related to the incident. Evans admitted that he was in violation of California Vehicle Code § 27803, which dictates that motorcycle users wear a proper safety helmet while riding a motorcycle. Instead, Evans was wearing a “brain bucket” helmet, a novelty helmet that was not a California Department of Transportation-approved helmet. Thus, defense counsel argued that Evans was solely responsible for his because of his choice to wear the illegal helmet., Following the accident, Evans was transported to a local hospital, where he was diagnosed as having sustained blunt force trauma to his head, resulting in a LeFort III (transverse) fracture of his face/skull and a bilateral subarachnoid hemorrhage. He fractured several facial bones and teeth, as well as fractured a foot and allegedly suffered trauma to both shoulders. Evans claimed that as a result of head , he suffered a traumatic brain injury. As a result, he was placed into a medically-induced coma for three weeks, and he underwent a closed reduction procedure. Following his awakening from the coma, Evans was left with mild cognitive impairment. Evans also claimed he experiences a compromised sense of smell as a result of his . Thus, Evans sought recovery of approximately $1.5 million for his past and future loss of earnings, past and future medical costs, and past and future non-economic damages. The parties stipulated to past medical costs of $440,000. According to the plaintiff’s life care planning experts, Evans will require a life plan totaling $6.4 million. Defense counsel disputed the alleged trauma to Evans’ shoulders. Counsel also contested the nature and extent of Evans’ alleged brain injury, noting that Evans was able to go back to work three months after the collision, despite being in a medically induced coma for three weeks. (However, at the time of trial, Evans was off of work again due to the alleged orthopedic .) Defense counsel also contended that Evan has all of his faculties (except for his alleged compromised sense of smell), he can drive a car, and, after he undergoes foot surgery, Evans should be able to participate in most, if not all, of the physical activities he previously enjoyed. Thus, defense counsel disputed the amount of damages sought for Evans’ life care plan, contending that Evans would only require $900,000. In addition, defense counsel argued that had Evans would not have suffered the that he did had Evans been wearing a proper helmet while operating the motorcycle. Prior to the case being submitted to the jury, the parties reached an $11.1 million/$3.1 million high/low agreement, by which the parties waived the option of filing an appeal.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles, CA

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