Case details

Pedestrian claimed turning cab ran him over after denying fare





Result type

Not present

fracture, leg
On Oct. 17, 2010, at approximately 2:10 a.m., plaintiff Adam Ludwig, 28, was leaving a party with a friend and hailed a taxicab on Sutter Street in San Francisco. However, Ludwig claimed that when the driver refused to take him and his friend due to their destination, he chased the cab to the intersection of Sutter and Larkin Streets, where an argument ensued when the driver still refused to take them. Ludwig claimed that while he was still standing at the cab’s open passenger side window, the driver made a sudden, sharp-right turn onto northbound Larkin Street, knocking him over and running over his left leg. Ludwig sued Yellow Cab Cooperative Inc., which was doing business as Yellow Cab Co. He alleged that the taxicab driver was negligent in the operation of the vehicle and that Yellow Cab was vicariously liable for the driver’s negligence. The driver was never identified. Ludwig claimed that the driver was wrong to deny his fare when he hailed the cab down in the mid-block of Sutter Street. He also claimed that when he caught up with the cab to further contest the refusal, an argument ensued causing the driver to make a sudden, sharp and unsafe right turn, which knocked him down and caused the cab to run over his left leg. In addition, Ludwig alleged that the driver violated the Vehicle Code by making the unsafe right turn. Yellow Cab claimed no negligence. Its counsel argued that Ludwig could not prove the cab in question was under the Yellow Cab color scheme or whether it was an illegal cab or from another county. Counsel further argued that even if it was a Yellow Cab, Ludwig should not have agitated the driver and approached him at the red light after the driver originally refused to take him., Ludwig was taken by a different cab to an emergency room, where he was diagnosed with fractures to the tibia and fibula of his left leg. The following day, he underwent open reduction and internal fixation surgery with the insertion of a rod and screws. He then followed up with five months of physical therapy. Ludwig contended that he still experiences residual pain and discomfort. He alleged that this affects his physical activity, especially his ability to run, as he was a competitive runner in college. However, the plaintiff’s expert orthopedist claimed that future surgery would not improve the condition of Ludwig’s left leg. Thus, Ludwig claimed $96,894 in past medical costs, and sought recovery of $105,000 to $150,000 in damages for his past pain and suffering and $367,000 in damages for his future pain and suffering. Defense counsel did not contest Ludwig’s past medical costs, but disputed his claim for pain and suffering damages. Counsel argued that surgery to remove hardware would alleviate the condition of Ludwig’s left leg and asked the jury to instead award $150,000 in total damages, if Yellow Cab was found liable for the accident.
Superior Court of San Francisco County, San Francisco, CA

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