Case details

Motorcyclist dragged by gas truck claimed serious leg injuries





Result type

Not present

disfigurement, fracture, leg, scar
On Feb. 13, 2017, plaintiff Jason Lo, 30, a U.S. Air Force captain, stopped his motorcycle at a red light at the intersection of Rosecrans Avenue and Hindry Avenue, in Hawthorne. He was struck by a Southern California Gas Co. truck operated by Dominick Consolazio. Lo and his motorcycle became pinned beneath the truck with his right leg pressed on the ground under his motorcycle. After the initial impact, Consolazio stopped in the intersection for 23 seconds, but then made a left turn toward the freeway on-ramp. As he did so, Lo, who was still trapped underneath the truck, was dragged approximately 436 feet. Consolazio was eventually stopped by Good Samaritans, who blocked his path. Consolazio was arrested at the scene, and he later pleaded to felony hit-and-run. Lo sued Consolazio and his employer, Southern California Gas Co. Lo alleged that Consolazio was negligent in the operation of his truck and that Southern California Gas Co. was vicariously liable for Consolazio’s actions. Consolazio claimed he suffered a seizure immediately prior to and during the incident. Southern California Gas Co. admitted responsibility for the collision, as Consolazio was employed and acting within the scope of his employment at the time of the accident. As a result, the jury was to only decide the amount of damages and whether punitive damages should be awarded., Lo claimed that he suffered an open, comminuted fracture of his right femur, resulting in a degloving injury and partial amputation of his right leg, above his knee. He also suffered an avulsion of his femoral artery, causing him to lose approximately 40 percent of his blood at the scene. Lo was immediately taken to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, in Torrance, where he underwent multiple surgeries in an attempt to avoid amputation. He also had skin and muscle from other parts of his body grafted to his leg in an attempt to rebuild it. Lo remained hospitalized for nearly a month, and his leg was ultimately able to be saved. At the time of the accident, Lo worked at the Los Angeles Air Force Base, in El Segundo, and he had only been married for six months. He returned to work seven months after the crash, but he claimed he has a permanent limp and his right leg remains severely disfigured. He also claimed he has scars at the locations where the grafts were harvested. Lo alleged that he was an active athlete prior to the accident, but that his leg injury has affected his ability to participate in those activities. He also alleged that he will require multiple additional surgeries in the future, and his treating plastic surgeons opined that Lo will require four to six plastic surgeries, as well. In addition, Lo claimed that his leg must be monitored for the rest of his life, as an amputation of his leg remains a threat. Lo sought recovery of past and future medical costs, past and future loss of earnings, and damages for his past and future pain and suffering. His wife, Nina Lo, presented a derivative claim seeking recovery for her loss of consortium. In addition, the Los sought recovery of punitive damages against Consolazio due to his decision to continue to drive despite admitting that he suffered 10 prior seizures, including one six weeks before the subject collision. Defense counsel disputed the nature and extent of Mr. Lo’s residual , and argued that Mr. Lo’s current condition was not as bad as he alleged. Counsel also disputed Mr. Lo’s alleged future medical expenses, and argued that the loss of income resulting from Mr. Lo’s was minimal. During closing arguments, defense counsel argued that the Los should only be awarded about $9 million in total damages.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles, CA

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