Case details

Motorcyclist struck by another motorcycle claimed injuries





Result type

Not present

back, cancer, shoulder
At around 3 p.m. on Sept. 28, 2012, plaintiff Michael Theis, 44, a floor installer, was participating in a Poker Run, a fundraising event for motorcycling enthusiasts. The group of motorcyclists meet, usually at a bar, and then travel to subsequent different bars, stopping at each one to receive a card in a sealed envelope. At the end of the run, the envelopes are opened to see who has the best/worst hand. Theis and another participant, Richard Altom, had been to three establishments and were in a group of about 12 riders heading to the next bar. The riders rode in formation, wherein they traveled two by two in a line. Each pair of motorcyclists would then come to a stop at a stop sign on Old Altimont Pass Road, at the intersection with Greenville Road, in Alameda County, and then proceeded through the intersection. They would then waited on the other side until each group member passed through the intersection before continuing on. However, as Theis came to a stop at the stop sign, his motorcycle was hit in the rear by Altom’s motorcycle. Theis claimed to his lower back and shoulder. Theis sued Altom, alleging that Altom was negligent in the operation of his motorcycle. Theis contended that he was with a group of bikers, stopped at the stop sign, when his motorcycle was rear-ended by Altom. Plaintiff’s counsel called a witness to corroborate Theis’ version of events. Altom claimed that an unknown, third, homemade motorcycle hit his motorcycle in the rear, forcing his bike to move forward and strike Theis’ motorcycle., Theis claimed he sustained a rotator cuff tear to the left, non-dominant shoulder and a lower back injury. He subsequently went to a hospital the day after the incident, after having a sleepless night due to increasing pain to his shoulder and back. Theis ultimately treated with a chiropractor for his back injury and with an orthopedist for his shoulder injury. However, he claimed he still suffered from pain. Thus, Theis sought recovery of $32,164.69 in past medical costs and $40,000 in future medical costs. He also sought recovery of damages for his past and future pain and suffering. Defense counsel presented a sub rosa film of Theis helping his wheelchair-bound mother. According to plaintiff’s counsel, the sub rosa film was mostly of Theis taking his wheelchair-bound mother to and from her doctor appointments for her cancer treatment. However, defense counsel noted that the sub rosa film showed Theis using his allegedly injured shoulder to lift the wheelchair into and out of the trunk of a car.
Superior Court of Alameda County, Oakland, CA

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