Case details

Motorcyclist claimed shoulder and back injuries from accident





Result type

Not present

abrasions, epidural injections shoulder, loss of consortium
On Sept. 1, 2011, at approximately 6:31 a.m., plaintiff Lonnie Botts, 59, an oil field worker, was riding his motorcycle west on State Route 119 in Kern County, on his way to work, when a pickup truck operated by Edwin Nickell made a left turn in front of him. As a result, Botts had to suddenly lay his motorcycle down, allegedly resulting in to his right shoulder and upper back. Botts sued Nickell, as well as Nickell’s employers and owners of the vehicle, Pros Inc. and Pros, LLC. Botts alleged that Nickell was negligent in the operation of his vehicle, and that Pros Inc. and Pros, LLC were vicariously liable for Nickell’s actions. Botts claimed that Nickell pulled onto SR-119 directly into his path of travel. He claimed that as a result, he attempted to avoid a collision with Nickell, but lost control of his motorcycle, ultimately requiring him to lay his bike down on the asphalt and slide to a stop. Liability, although not admitted, was not disputed by the defendants during settlement negotiations., Botts was taken from the scene of the accident by ambulance and brought to an emergency room. He was diagnosed with multiple bruises and abrasions, with primary soft-tissue complaints to his right shoulder and thoracic spine. Approximately six months after the accident, Botts underwent decompression surgery on his right shoulder, followed by physical therapy. As for his thoracic complaints, Botts was provided physical therapy and an epidural injection. Botts claimed that although he experienced right shoulder and thoracic spine pain before the subject accident, and previously treated with some pain management, he was still fully functional and able to work as an oil lease operator before the accident. However, he claimed that after the accident, he was unable to return to work. As a result, the plaintiff’s physician recommended that Botts undergo thoracic spine surgery. Thus, Botts sought recovery of $180,000 in past medical costs, $149,981 in past lost earnings, between $402,218 and $551,093 in future lost earnings, and an unspecified amount of damages for his future medical costs (for the thoracic spine surgery) and pain and suffering. In addition, Botts’s wife, Christine Botts, sought recovery of damages for her loss of consortium. Defense counsel disputed the reasonableness and necessity of Mr. Botts’ past medical specials, as well as causation of his thoracic spine condition. Counsel also disputed Mr. Botts’ loss of earnings claim.
Superior Court of Kern County, Kern, CA

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