Case details

Pedestrian almost struck by turning van fractured wrist





Result type

Not present

dominant wrist, fracture, left
At around 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 15, 2014, plaintiff Danial Nord, 56, an artist who creates large-scale installations, was walking in a crosswalk, heading eastbound across Via Cabrillo-Marina Road, in San Pedro, when a Doubletree Hotel van, operated by Ramon Villegas Austria, made a left turn from westbound 22nd Street onto southbound Via Cabrillo-Marina Road. As the van entered the crosswalk at approximately 25 mph, Austria slammed on the brakes and Nord jumped out of the way to avoid being hit. Although the van never actually struck Nord, he landed on his left wrist, fracturing it. Nord sued Austria and Austria’s employer, RIM Hospitality LLC (which was erroneously sued separately as “RIM Corporation” and as “Interstate Hotels & Resorts Inc.” — RIM Hospitality was acquired by Interstate Hotels & Resorts in July 2014, seven months after the incident). Nord alleged that Austria was negligent in the operation of the van. He also alleged that RIM Hospitality/Interstate Hotels & Resorts was liable for Austria’s actions while in the course and scope of his employment, and as the owner of the van. Plaintiff’s counsel contended that Austria made a negligent left hand turn and failed to yield the right of way to Nord. Defense counsel contended that Nord entered the intersection in violation of the “Don’t Walk” sign and that Nord should have seen the van coming and avoided it. Thus, counsel contended that Nord was responsible for the incident. The only independent eyewitness testified differently three separate times regarding what color she believed the traffic light was when the incident occurred. According to plaintiff’s counsel, despite contesting liability from the beginning of litigation, Austria admitted during cross-examination at trial that he did not see Nord in the crosswalk because he was, “Not paying attention.”, Nord sustained a severely displaced, comminuted fracture of his left, dominant wrist. He was subsequently taken via ambulance to an emergency room, where the injury was diagnosed and it was determined that it required surgery. Nord underwent open reduction and internal fixation of his left major wrist. He then underwent a course of physical therapy. Once he completed physical therapy, Nord was released from care with some allegedly permanent residual problems. Specifically, Nord claimed that he continues to work even though he has pain when he uses certain tools when constructing the large installations that he creates. Nord waived all claims for recovery of alleged past medical costs incurred and lost earnings sustained. Thus, he only sought recovery of damages for his past and future pain and suffering.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Torrance, CA

Recommended Experts


Get a FREE consultation for your case