Case details

Pedestrian claimed vehicle struck her in hotel parking lot





Result type

Not present

ankle, ankle ligament, arm, dislocation, fracture, humerus leg, leg, shoulder
On July 13, 2016, plaintiff Nancy Fannin, 60, a senior area manager and registered respiratory therapist for a home medical products company, was walking south in a parking lot for Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites Pasadena-Colorado Boulevard, in Pasadena, when she was struck by a rental vehicle operated by Samantha George. There were no eyewitnesses, photographs or video of the accident. Fannin sustained to her left leg, left ankle and left shoulder. Fannin sued George; George’s employers, Carolinas Restaurant Holdings, LLC and Camden Blaze, LLC; the owner of the rental vehicle, Avis Budget Group Inc.; and the property owners and operators, Brighton Management, LLC, Castle Rock Hotel Group, LLC and Oak View Hotel Limited Partnership. Fannin alleged that George was negligent in the operation of her vehicle and that Camden Blaze and Carolinas Restaurant Holdings were vicariously liable for George’s actions while she was in the course and scope of her employment. Fannin also alleged that Avis was vicariously liable for George’s actions and that the property owners were also liable for the accident. Avis, Brighton Management, Castle Rock Hotel Group and Oak View Hotel ultimately settled out of the case prior to trial. Thus, the matter proceeded to a bench trial on the claims against George and her employers. Fannin claimed that she was hit from behind by George’s vehicle at 15 to 20 mph. Plaintiff’s counsel focused on biomechanical analysis of Fannin’s and the damage to the passenger side, rearview mirror of George’s vehicle to evidence that Fannin walking in a parallel direction to George’s vehicle when Fannin was clipped by the vehicle’s mirror. Specifically, the plaintiff’s biomechanical expert opined that Fannin’s were consistent with an eversion injury, wherein Fannin was hit by the right side mirror, causing her body to forcefully turn, resulting in a fracture to the tibia and fibula, and a rupture of the deltoid ligament and skin. The expert further opined that Fannin continued to rotate as she fell onto her shoulder, causing a four part comminuted fracture. In addition, the plaintiff’s biomechanical expert opined that if Fannin had in fact walked in front of the car, as the defense alleged, there would have been an additional head strike with the A-pillar of the vehicle, the roof support structure on either side of a vehicle’s windshield, which would have caused significant head trauma that was not present for Fannin. George admitted that she did not see Fannin until the impact, but she claimed she was looking straight ahead. Therefore, George claimed that Fannin must have inadvertently stepped quickly in front of her vehicle in an attempt to access to the hotel’s entrance. Defense counsel noted the police report on the incident placed the blame on Fannin and also indicated that Fannin walked out in front of George’s moving vehicle. The defense’s biomechanical engineering expert opined that Fannin’s were consistent with Fannin walking in front of the vehicle and being contacted by the right front bumper, which resulted in Fannin’s ankle injury. The defense’s accident reconstruction expert opined that there was too little hard evidence to perform an accident reconstruction and that, as such, the plaintiff’s reconstruction could not be accurate., Fannin sustained a grade IIIA open fracture and dislocation of her left ankle, including fractures of the left tibia and fibula. She also sustained a four part comminuted fracture of the humeral head of her left shoulder with a rupture of the deltoid ligament and skin. Fannin was taken to Huntington Memorial Hospital, in Pasadena, where she underwent four surgeries during her 11-day hospitalization. The surgeries included open reduction and internal fixation of her left ankle, open reduction and internal fixation of her left shoulder, and a split-thickness skin graft from her left thigh to her left ankle. Fannin then spent two months convalescing at her home and underwent extensive physical therapy. Fannin claimed that she had to change jobs as a result of the accident because her former position required extensive travel, as she managed operations in sales for 19 locations in five states. She alleged that due to her physical limitations after the accident, her position became painful and difficult for her. As a result, Fannin was hired as a sales manager for a maintenance supply company in January 2019. However, she claimed that while the new position was sedentary, it offered less pay. The plaintiff’s medical experts opined that Fannin will eventually require a complete shoulder revision, as it was undisputed that the hardware was failing due to a varus collapse and that the screw was now in the joint space. The experts also opined that Fannin will require an ankle fusion or ankle replacement because of her progressing traumatic arthritis. Fannin alleged that she continues to have swelling and pain in her left ankle. She claimed that as a result, she can no longer run and that she has difficulty walking long distances, hiking, standing for long periods, or walking on uneven ground and snow. She also claimed that she continues to have difficulties reaching for items overhead due to the condition of her left shoulder. In addition, Fannin claimed that her current medical condition makes it difficult for her to play with her grandchildren. Fannin sought recovery of past and future medical costs, past and future loss of earnings, and damages for her past and future pain and suffering.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Pasadena, CA

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