Case details

Pedestrian hit by car claimed leg, hip and spleen injuries





Result type

Not present

fracture, knee, tibial plateau
At approximately 6:14 a.m. on Dec. 8, 2009, plaintiff Ellsworth Scarborough, 60, a homeless man, was crossing northbound Euclid Street at the intersection with Baker Avenue in Fullerton. As he was walking west in the crosswalk, he was struck by a truck operated by Kelvin Booker, who was making a left turn from eastbound Baker Avenue onto northbound Euclid Street. Scarborough claimed to his left leg, left hip, and spleen. Scarborough sued Booker and his employer, Access Lock Systems Inc., which also owned the truck. He alleged that Booker was negligent in the operation of his vehicle and that Access Lock was vicariously liable for Booker’s actions since he was in the course and scope of his employment at the time of the accident. Scarborough claimed that he had a green pedestrian signal at the time of the accident. Thus, he claimed that since Booker was turning left through the intersection, Booker was negligent for failing to yield to pedestrian traffic. Plaintiff’s counsel also obtained an independent witness to corroborate Scarborough’s account of the accident. The defendants did not dispute liability., Scarborough was taken from the scene of the accident by ambulance and brought to an emergency room. He sustained a left tibial plateau fracture of the left leg, and underwent open reduction and internal fixation surgery on Dec. 16, 2009. He also suffered a splenic avulsion of his left hip and lacerations to his body. He subsequently underwent rehabilitation at College Hospital Costa Mesa for approximately three months. Scarborough claimed he still experiences left knee pain and the plaintiff’s orthopedic surgeon opined that Scarborough will eventually require a total left knee replacement. Scarborough incurred approximately $486,000 in medical costs, which was reduced to $100,000 after payment from a public assistance program (MSI). However, plaintiff’s counsel contacted each medical provider and got language from the MSI handbook stating that full amounts were still owed and that the full statutory liens were still in effect. Therefore, despite the payoffs from MSI and the subsequent write-offs by the medical providers, plaintiff’s counsel contended that medical specials would be approximately $467,000, even with a Howell reduction. Scarborough further sought recovery of damages for his past and future pain and suffering. Defense counsel contended that the plaintiff’s damages equaled to the amount MSI paid, which was $116,648.17. Counsel also contended that a future knee replacement was not necessary and that Scarborough suffered no further residuals as a result of the suffered in the collision.
Superior Court of Orange County, Santa Ana, CA

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