Case details

Pedestrian: Impact caused brain, chest and pelvic injuries





Result type

Not present

chest, coordination problems, dizziness, head, iliac vein thrombosis, memory loss, motor, partial loss of hearing, partial loss of vision, pelvis, sensory abnormalities, traumatic brain injury
On Sept. 14, 2013, plaintiff Ana Cortez, 44, was walking across a street in Los Angeles when she was struck by a vehicle driven by Min Sun Choi. Cortez was subsequentlythrown over 50 feet and landed on the asphalt roadway. She claimed she injured her head, chest and pelvis. Cortez sued Choi, alleging that Choi was negligent in the operation of her vehicle. Specifically, Cortez claimed that she had a “Walk” signal and was walking within a crosswalk at the time of impact and that Choi ran a red light. Choi conceded liability, and the matter proceeded to a trial on the issue of and damages., Cortez complained of headaches, and pain in her chest and pelvis. She was subsequently taken by ambulance to a local emergency room, and she was diagnosed with a concussion, multiple pelvic fractures, iliac vein thrombosis, and a chest hematoma. Cortez spent five days in the hospital and then an additional eight months recuperating from her fractures and thrombosis at home. She also required 36 Coumadin injections to treat her thrombosis. Cortez claimed that she sustained a traumatic brain injury, which included symptoms of memory loss, dizziness, partial loss of vision, partial loss of hearing, coordination problems, and motor and sensory abnormalities. She also claimed that despite treatment, she suffers from residual, chronic pain in her pelvis and lower back, causing her to have difficulty walking and limitations in performing activities of daily living. The plaintiff’s treating orthopedic surgeon opined that Cortez’s multiple pelvic fractures had healed, but that a spinal fusion would eventually be needed to address Cortez’s chronic pain and a permanently altered gait. The plaintiff’s treating neurologist opined that Cortez exhibits symptoms that were classic TBI and were unlikely to resolve. In addition, the plaintiff’s expert life care planner opined that Cortez’s care plan totaled $450,000, at present value, for TBI treatments and a future spinal fusion. Thus, Cortez’s counsel suggested that the jury should award $5.65 million in damages, including an award for Cortez’s past loss of earning capacity. The defense’s expert neurologist opined that all of Cortez’s TBI symptoms were subjective and that Cortez had seen only lawsuit experts since being discharged eight months post-accident. Thus, defense counsel suggested that the jury should award $11,000 in past loss of earnings, no future economic or medical expenses, and general damages in range of $50,000, which was allegedly consistent with healed fractures and an otherwise uneventful recovery.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles, CA

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