Case details

Plaintiff claimed injuries after struck by passing truck’s mirror





Result type

Not present

knee, knee derangement, lateral meniscus, medial meniscus, tear
On Oct. 26, 2008, plaintiff Mika Laupola, 59, a boilermaker for JV Industrial Companies, went to the ExxonMobil refinery in Torrance to clean out the refinery systems as part of a turnaround of the entire plant. At approximately 7 a.m., while walking to a tool shed on a road within the refinery, Laupola’s back was clipped by the side view mirror of a pickup truck operated by another subcontractor working on the turnaround, an employee of Ancon Marine Services. Laupola was knocked to the ground and suffered to his neck, back and left knee. Broadspire, the worker’s compensation carrier for JV Industrial Companies, filed a lawsuit against Ancon to recoup its lien. Laupola then filed a personal injury lawsuit against Ancon, alleging it was vicariously liable for its employee’s vehicular negligence. The cases were later consolidated. Laupola claimed he was wearing double ear protection at the time of the accident, consisting of plugs and muffs, so he could not hear the defendant’s approaching vehicle. Thus, Laupola claimed that the Ancon employee who struck him was negligent in the operation of his vehicle. Ancon claimed that Laupola should have heard the approaching vehicle and failed to take any evasive action to avoid being clipped by the side view mirror., On the date of the accident, Laupola was taken to an urgent care facility, where he claimed he landed on his left knee during the accident. He subsequently underwent an MRI that revealed internal derangement and both lateral and medial meniscal tears. Laupola also claimed soft-tissue to his neck and back, and followed up with physical therapy. In January 2011, he underwent an arthroscopy and partial medial meniscectomy on his left knee. He then followed up with additional physical therapy. Laupola claimed that he still experiences residual pain and discomfort in his left knee, neck and back. He has not returned to work, and claimed that his worker’s compensation is maxed out. Thus, he sought recovery of damages for his medical costs, lost earnings, and pain and suffering. Broadspire sought recovery of $105,456.56 for the worker’s compensation lien.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Torrance, CA

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