Case details

Motorcyclist claimed crash left him completely disabled





Result type

Not present

chest, fracture, hip, knee, knee ankle, rib
On Dec. 15, 2009, at approximately 8 a.m., plaintiff Janusz Zastawnik, 48, a truck driver, was riding his motorcycle on northbound Figueroa Street in Lomita, approaching the on-ramp for Interstate 110, also known as Harbor Freeway. As he took the left fork to enter the on-ramp, he was broadsided on the right side by a commercial pickup truck operated by George Wallace Rojeski, who was traveling on southbound Figueroa Street, which crosses over the entrance to the on-ramp. Zastawnik sustained extensive to his feet and ankles, right knee, hip, pelvis, ribs and liver. Zastawnik sued Rojeski and Rojeski’s employer, Asplundh Construction Corp. Zastawnik alleged that Rojeski was negligent in the operation of his truck and that Asplundh Construction was vicariously liable for his actions, since Rojeski was in the course and scope of his employment during the accident. Zastawnik alleged that his part of the intersection was uncontrolled, while Rojeski had a stop sign. He claimed that while Rojeski made a complete stop, Rojeski then proceeded through the intersection when it was unsafe to do so, causing the broadside collision. Thus, Zastawnik claimed that Rojeski violated his right of way by failing to yield to his motorcycle. Rojeski and Asplundh Construction disputed liability, claiming that Rojeski was not negligent., Zastawnik sustained bilateral crush to his feet and ankles, as well as fractures to his right knee, hip, sacrum, and multiple ribs. He also lacerated his liver. Zastawnik was subsequently taken from the scene of the accident by ambulance and brought to an emergency room, where he underwent five surgeries, consisting of open reduction and internal fixation, to treat his . As a result, he was hospitalized for 33 days. He then followed up with nine months of extensive physical therapy. Zastawnik claimed he still deals with pain, discomfort and limited mobility, and will require additional surgical intervention and a life care plan. He alleged he is now fully disabled and can never return to work. Zastawnik claimed he used to be very active before the accident, but is now prohibited from all physical activities, including motorcycling, mountain climbing, camping and other past hobbies. Thus, plaintiffs’ counsel asked the jury to award Zastawnik in excess of $18 million in total damages. Zastawnik’s wife, Dorota Zastawnik, sought recovery of $1.5 million in damages for her loss of consortium. Defense counsel disputed the plaintiffs’ damages claims, arguing that Mr. Zastawnik exaggerated his and could still return to the workforce. Thus, counsel asked the jury to award the Zastawniks only $2.5 million in total damages.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Pomona, CA

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