Case details

Plaintiff does not require future care or treatment, defense argued





Result type

Not present

ankle, back, clavicle, dental, diabetes, fracture, fractured teeth shoulder, left knee, left shoulder, mouth, shoulder, sprain, strain
On Aug. 19, 2011, plaintiff Henry Duran, an unemployed 59 year old, was walking in the crosswalk of East Gale Avenue, in Norwalk, when he was struck by a vehicle operated by Jasmine Hernandez, who was making a left turn from Plaza Drive at approximately 10 to 15 mph. Duran subsequently fell to the ground, sustaining to his mouth, back, left shoulder and left knee. Duran sued Jasmine Hernandez and the owners of the vehicle, Jose Hernandez and Rebecca Hernandez. Duran alleged that Jasmine Hernandez was negligent in the operation of her vehicle and that Jose and Rebecca Hernandez were vicariously liable for Jasmine Hernandez’s actions. The defendants admitted liability., After the accident, Jasmine Hernandez helped Duran up and asked him if he wanted to be taken anywhere. Duran asked to be taken to a gas station, where he used a payphone to call his friend. Paramedics then arrived at the scene, but Duran refused to be transported by them. Instead, Duran’s friend took him to Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital, in Whittier. Duran claimed he sustained sprains to his back, left shoulder, left knee, and left ankle. He also claimed he suffered a fractured clavicle and the loss of a number of teeth. Duran attempted to have an arthroscopy to his left knee, but because he is diabetic and a smoker, his vitals were unstable when he was put under anesthesia. As a result, the procedure was called off. Duran claimed that due to his , he is no longer able to play baseball, basketball or soccer, which he played five times per week. He also claimed he is no longer able to ride his bicycle, which he rode for 10 miles per day before the accident. He further claimed he can no longer run, jump, bend his legs, swing his left arm with a bat, bend over, or bend down to pick up a ball. In addition, Duran claimed he has trouble climbing stairs, cleaning the house, and running errands, such as getting his groceries. He alleged that as a result, he will require a left knee arthroscopy and that he will also eventually need dental treatment. The plaintiff’s treating orthopedic surgeon, who initially attempted the left knee arthroscopy, testified that Duran still needs the arthroscopy, but that Duran has to stop smoking and get his diabetes under control first. Thus, plaintiff’s counsel asked the jury to award Duran $2.4 million in total damages. The defense’s orthopedic surgery expert agreed that Duran had , including strains, but opined that Duran only suffered a bone bruise on his left knee, which the expert observed from Duran’s MRI. The expert further testified that later MRIs showed that the bone bruise had disappeared. The defense’s dental expert, an oral/maxillofacial surgeon, opined that Duran had dental that were not caused by the subject accident. Specifically, the expert testified that Duran had longstanding, poor dental hygiene and prior issues with his teeth. Accordingly, defense counsel argued that Duran was healed and would not require future care, treatment or surgery.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles, CA

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