Case details

Motorist’s unsafe lane change caused crash, bicyclist claimed





Result type

Not present

face, left eye, left hip, mouth, teeth.
At approximately 8:15 a.m. on Nov. 2, 2012, plaintiff Daniel Stadulis, 27, an engineer, was commuting to work, riding his bicycle on northbound Folsom Street, in San Francisco. While riding in the designated bicycle lane and crossing the intersection at 16th Street, Stadulis was involved in a collision with a vehicle operated by Theresa Au, who was attempting a right turn from northbound Folsom Street onto eastbound 16th Street. Stadulis was subsequently ejected from his bicycle and sustained to his left hip and his face, including his mouth, teeth and left eye. Stadulis sued Au, alleging that Au was negligent in the operation of her vehicle. Stadulis contended that he approached the subject intersection at approximately 10 to 15 mph. He also contended that he didn’t see any right-hand turn indicators flashing on the vehicles in the lane to his left and that he didn’t see any cars in front of him turn right onto 16th Street, from Folsom Street, as he approached the intersection. However, Stadulis claimed that Au merged into his path of travel approximately one bicycle length ahead of him so that she could attempt a right turn onto 16th Street. He claimed that as a result, he slammed on his brakes and swerved to the right, but that he didn’t have enough time to avoid the collision. Thus, plaintiff’s counsel argued that Au violated California Vehicle Code § 22107 regarding the use of turning signals, and failed to exercise reasonable safety. Au claimed that she previously merged into the right lane for her turn approximately 50 to 75 feet before the intersection. However, defense counsel contended that evidence showed that Au merged approximately 50 percent into the bike lane, as vehicle traffic to the right prevented her from merging further. Thus, Au claimed that Stadulis attempted to “thread the needle” to pass her on the right side, striking the vehicle somewhere near its front right wheel and causing the accident., Stadulis was ejected from his bicycle and struck the pavement face-first. As a result, he suffered trauma to his mouth, including multiple fractures to his teeth, as well as suffered a periorbital contusion and various abrasions to both hands and his left hip. Stadulis was subsequently placed in a cervical spine brace, administered morphine via an IV to address his pain, and taken by ambulance to the trauma center at San Francisco General Hospital. Stadulis was then given Dilaudid and Vicodin at the hospital to alleviate pain. He also underwent a CT scan of his head and face, which ruled out facial fractures or any intracranial abnormalities. Stadulis was then discharged later that afternoon with instructions to contact a dental surgeon. Stadulis first saw a dental surgeon for a consultation on Nov. 9, 2012, and was referred to an orthodontic surgeon, who performed root canals on teeth numbers nine and 10 on Dec. 7, 2012. The surgeon also noted that tooth number eight had also suffered trauma as a result of the accident. Upon finding necrotic tissue, indicating that teeth numbers nine and 10 had died as a result of the collision, the dental surgeon performed reconstructive work on those teeth in January and February of 2013. Stadulis then returned to the orthodontic surgeon on Sept. 30, 2013, when he experienced painful pressure and swelling around tooth number eight. As a result, the orthodontic surgeon performed an emergency procedure to temporarily relieve Stadulis’ symptoms. The surgeon then performed a root canal on the tooth on Oct. 8, 2013, and finished restoring the tooth on Nov. 4, 2013. Stadulis claimed that his periorbital contusion and abrasions to his hands and left hip slowly healed, but that he will require future dental work. Plaintiff’s counsel also presented additional evidence of future dental work, including the potential for implants. The parties ultimately stipulated to approximately $40,000 in past medical costs and wage loss. Thus, Stadulis sought recovery of $310,000 in total damages at trial. Defense counsel agreed that Stadulis’ stemmed from the accident, and he did not contest the nature and extent of Stadulis’ , medical expenses, or wage loss claims.
Superior Court of San Francisco County, San Francisco, CA

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