Case details

Pedestrians claimed accident caused by short crosswalk light




Mediated Settlement

Result type

Not present

annular tear, arm, back, brain, brain injury, bulging disc, cervical, depression, face, facial, fracture, head, herniated disc, humerus leg, knee, mental, neck, nose, psychological, skull, stenosis, thoracic, thoracic head, tibial plateau, traumatic brain injury
On Dec. 4, 2016, plaintiffs Peng Huang, 54, a chief financial officer, and Shuping Gao, 59, a retiree, were walking in a marked crosswalk, crossing West March Lane’s nine lanes, at the intersection with Quail Lake Drive, in Stockton. Before they reached the other side of the road, Huang and Gao were struck by a vehicle operated by Judy Chong. Huang and Gao each sustained to their heads, arms, legs and face. Huang and Gao sued Chong and the maintainer of the intersection, the city of Stockton. Huang and Gao alleged that Chong was negligent in the operation of her vehicle and that the city was liable for the crosswalk’s dangerous condition. Huang and Gao claimed that they entered the crosswalk when the pedestrian walk light was on, but that the light changed before they reached the other side of the road. Thus, plaintiffs’ counsel contended that the pedestrian walk light was too short, violating the California Department of Transportation standard and the city’s own standard. Chong was uninsured, and was determined to be judgment proof. Based on two witnesses’ statements, the city’s counsel contended that Huang and Gao walked against the light. Counsel also noted that the responding police officer found Huang and Gao to be at fault for jaywalking., Huang and Gao were both taken to a hospital after the accident. Huang sustained multiple skull fractures, left-sided facial bone fractures and a traumatic brain injury. She also sustained fractures of her right leg’s tibia and fibula, involving the tibial plateau. In addition, she sustain a 4 millimeter, left-sided cervical disc protrusion at the C5-6 level with spinal stenosis at C4-5 and C5-6, annular tearing at C3-4, and left-sided neural foramina narrowing at C4-5. Huang required open reduction of internal fixation surgery to treat her leg fractures. She later underwent a removal of the metal plates, and an intramedullary rod installed into her leg with a bone graft from her hip. Huang claimed that she now suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and depression and that her future medical treatment includes one year of outpatient psychotherapy for her depression and anger management, and one year of outpatient cognitive retraining because of her brain injury. She also claimed that her right knee has a high risk of developing arthritis in the future and that she will eventually need a total knee replacement. She further claimed that she will need ongoing Botox injections to manage her daily headaches and epidural injections to treat her cervical spine pain. Huang alleged that as a result of her condition, she had to stop working as a CFO. She also alleged that she can no longer enjoy exercise, such as playing ping-pong, jogging and cycling, and that she can longer perform other activities that she once enjoyed, such as oil painting, reciting poems, modeling and traveling. Huang sought recovery of medical costs, lost earnings, and damages for her past and future pain and suffering. Her husband, Wenchang Song, sought recovery for his loss of consortium. Gao sustained fractures to her left orbit (eye socket), left zygomatic bone (cheekbone) and left maxilla (jawbone). She also sustained an intracranial hematoma and a traumatic brain injury, as well as sustained fractures of her left arm’s distal humerus and right leg’s lateral tibial plateau. In addition, she sustained a small, central-contained herniated disc at C7-T1; a 4 millimeter central-contained herniated lumbar disc at the L5-S1 level, in close proximity to the central left S1 root sleeve; central annular tears at C4-5 and C5-6; an L4-5 annual tear; and moderate, left-sided, lateral recess narrowing and mild-to-moderate left-sided foramina narrowing. Gao’s intracranial hematoma was neurosurgically evaluated through bilateral burr holes in her head. She also underwent two open reduction and internal fixation surgeries to her left humerus and right tibia, and underwent surgery to repair the right knee’s lateral meniscus. Gao later underwent two more surgeries to remove the metal plates from her arm and leg. Gao claimed that as a result of her condition, she could not take care of her grandson, as she had been taking care him full-time before the accident. She also claimed that she could no longer do things she once enjoyed, such as go hiking and fishing, play badminton, dance, travel, and perform tai chi. Gao alleged that as a result, she suffers from depression and PTSD. Gao alleged that her future treatment includes arthroscopic surgery for an intra-articular pathology, and arthroscopic debridement and anterior interval release for her right knee. She claimed that she is at significant risk of developing arthritis in her knee and meniscus tear, so will eventually require a total knee replacement. Gao also alleged that she will need one year of cognitive exercise with a trained therapist; cognitive retraining software and a compatible computer for exercise at home; and one year of weekly psychotherapy to address her depression, suicidal thinking and anger management. She further alleged that she will need ongoing Botox injections to manage her daily headaches, and epidural injections to treat her lumbar and cervical spine pain. Gao sought recovery of medical costs and damages for her past and future pain and suffering. Her husband, Naibo Tao, sought recovery for his loss of consortium.
Superior Court of San Joaquin County, San Joaquin, CA

Recommended Experts


Get a FREE consultation for your case