Case details

Motorist’s inattention to slowing traffic caused crash: motorcyclist





Result type

Not present

blow-out fracture, hip
At 9 a.m. on May 7, 2012, plaintiff Arnold Petersen, 55, an export/import manager, was riding his motorcycle on northbound Redwood Highway, also known as U.S. Route 101, during rush hour. When Petersen was north of Morgan Hill, a vehicle directly ahead of him, which was operated by Mark Faria, braked suddenly and began fishtailing in the number one lane. Upon seeing this, Petersen moved to the number two lane. However, Faria lost control of his vehicle, hit the vehicle in front of him, and then swerved right and struck Petersen in the number two lane. Faria then dragged Petersen and his motorcycle across two more lanes of traffic to the dirt shoulder. Petersen sustained to his hip. Petersen sued Faria, alleging that Faria was negligent in the operation of his vehicle. Plaintiff’s counsel contended that Faria was inattentive and speeding in the number one lane of northbound Route-101. Counsel also contended that Faria failed to keep proper control of his vehicle, resulting in the vehicle fishtailing and striking the vehicle in front of him before entering the number two lane, where Petersen had moved, and striking Petersen on his motorcycle. Counsel further contended that Faria was negligent for dragging Petersen and his motorcycle across two lanes. Faria claimed that he was distracted by a shiny custom plate on another vehicle and did not see that traffic in front him had begun to slow down. He alleged that when he looked up and saw that traffic was beginning to slow, he slammed his brakes, which caused his vehicle to fishtail. However, he claimed that Petersen was tailgating him, so that when he lost control, Petersen was only 26-feet behind him. Thus, Faria claimed that as he moved into the number two lane, so did Petersen, ultimately resulting in the collision., Petersen sustained a dislocation of his hip and a blow-out fracture of the acetabular wall of the hip. He was subsequently taken to Regional Medical Center, in San Jose, and he ultimately underwent surgery that consisted of an internal fixation. Thereafter, Petersen developed blood clotting and required a subsequent vascular surgery. Petersen, who was a former Army Ranger, claimed that he is still unable to walk without pain. He also claimed that he was an avid runner before the accident, but that he can no longer snow ski or run. Petersen further claimed that expects to deal with early onset of degenerative joint disease in the hip, which would require a total hip replacement. However, he alleged that he is wary of any future surgery due to the danger of repeat blood clots. Thus, Petersen sought recovery of $175,207.02 in past medical costs, $40,000 in future medical costs, $56,476.85 in past lost earnings, and $26,893.80 in future lost earnings.
Superior Court of Santa Clara County, Santa Clara, CA

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