Case details

Pedestrian claimed injuries from accident with turning truck





Result type

Not present

back, cervical, closed head injury, disc protrusion, head, left shoulder, lumbar disc syndrome, mental, neck, psychiatric, psychological
On June 28, 2010, at approximately 11 a.m., plaintiff Bella Babchin, a 59-year-old on disability, was leaving UCSF Medical Center in San Francisco after having an X-ray of her cervical spine. As she attempted to cross an intersection, she was struck by a pickup truck operated by James Dutra, who was making a right turn from Sutter Street onto Divisadero Street. She claimed to her head, left shoulder, neck, and back. Babchin sued Dutra, alleging the defendant was negligent in the operation of his vehicle. Babchin claimed that she entered the intersection on a green light and that Dutra failed to yield to pedestrian traffic in making his right turn. She claimed she was struck by the truck’s passenger side mirror and knocked to the ground. Dutra initially disputed liability, claiming that both he and Babchin had a red light at the subject intersection and that he was lawfully making a right turn while Babchin entered the intersection on a red light. However, at trial, Dutra decided not to dispute liability., Babchin claimed she sustained closed head trauma, a tear of her left shoulder’s rotator cuff, cervical disc protrusions, and a lumbar injury. She was subsequently taken by ambulance to an emergency room. She later underwent three years of extensive treatment, consisting of epidural steroid injections to her neck and back, physical therapy, acupuncture, biofeedback and psychiatric sessions. Babchin claimed that while the epidural steroid injections to her neck, back and shoulder provided some relief, she still continued to experience discomfort. Babchin admitted that she had prior treatment for all of the alleged and that she had just undergone an X-ray for chronic neck pain prior to the accident. However, she claimed she will need shoulder surgery, and continued neck and back injections as a result of the accident. Thus, Babchin sought recovery of $41,532.54 in past medical costs and an unspecified amount for her future medical needs. After accounting for her past and future pain and suffering, Babchin sought recovery of $400,000 to $600,000 in total damages. Babchin’s husband Victor Cipparrone Jr., initially presented a derivative claim seeking recover of damages for his loss of consortium. However, he dismissed his claim prior to the commencement of trial. Defense counsel contended that the emergency room exam did not reveal any fractures or serious . Thus, counsel argued that all of Babchin’s serious were pre-existing and that Babchin sustained only minor soft-tissue in the subject accident that should have resolved within two to three weeks. Counsel argued that as a result, Babchin was only entitled to medical expenses for the ambulance, initial emergency room visit, and a few weeks of physical therapy because the rest of Babchin’s medical expenses were related to her pre-existing medical conditions.
Superior Court of San Francisco County, San Francisco, CA

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