Case details

Plaintiff should not have been standing in roadway: defense





Result type

Not present

ankle, clavicle, closed head injury, face, facial, fracture, head, leg, nose, shoulder
On Jan. 5, 2009, plaintiff Sherae Lea, 42, an in-home care provider, was a front seat passenger in a car traveling on Bailey Road in Concord. At approximately 9 p.m., Lea exited the vehicle due to her fear of being attacked by the driver, who she claimed smoked crack that day. She claimed that as she stood near the road, waiving her arms to signal a car to stop, she was struck by the right headlight of a vehicle operated by Megan Moore. Lea claimed to her pelvis, right leg and jaw. Lea sued Moore. She alleged the defendant was negligent in the operation of her vehicle. Lea contended that Moore was traveling 35 mph and did not see her on the side of the road. She claimed that defendant was driving with the low beams on, which only illuminated 100 feet. Plaintiff’s counsel contended that Moore was required to have high beams on and that, per Vehicle Code § 24407, high beams must illuminate 350 feet ahead. However, the court, refused to instruct the jury of this vehicle code requirement. Moore claimed Lea was negligent for standing in the roadway on a curve. She also claimed that the plaintiff could have stood on the other side of the road, where there was a turnout, and not be in the way of traffic. Defense counsel presented a video recreation, which showed that with high beams on, Moore would not have seen Lea in the road until 150 feet., Lea sustained fractures to her right pelvis, right leg, right scapular/clavicle and right ankle. She also sustained multiple mandibular fractures and a closed head injury. Lea was subsequently taken from the scene of the accident by ambulance and presented to an emergency room, before being hospitalized in the Intensive Care Unit for 14 days. She was initially intubated and put into a medically induced coma, and underwent several surgeries to repair her fractures. Lea claimed she still suffers pain in her jaw, as well as headaches, dizziness, memory problems and limited peripheral vision. She also claimed continued right shoulder pain with limited range of motion, as well as residual scars from her surgeries. In addition, Lea alleged that she finds it difficult to stand and sit for long periods. Thus, Lea claimed $383,000 in past medical costs, and asked the jury for $500,000 in total damages, including her pain and suffering. However, she did not make a lost earnings claim. Defense counsel did not dispute the severity of Lea’s .
Superior Court of Contra Costa County, Contra Costa, CA

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