Case details

Plaintiff struck by vehicle while crossing intersection





Result type

Not present

fracture, knee, leg, tibial plateau
On Aug. 30, 2008, plaintiff Karen Petersen, 65, a retired woman, was within a crosswalk, crossing the intersection of Sports Arena Boulevard and Hancock Street in San Diego, when she was struck in her right leg by a vehicle driven by Fred Atrash, who was making a left turn from Hancock Street onto Sports Arena Boulevard. Petersen sustained crush to her right leg as a result of the accident. Petersen sued Fred Atrash and the owners of the vehicle, Francis and Delalle Atrash. Petersen alleged that Fred Atrash was negligent in the operation of his motor vehicle and that Francis and Delalle Atrash were vicariously liable for Fred Atrash’s actions. The owners of Fred Atrash’s vehicle were ultimately dismissed prior to the resolution of the case. Petersen claimed that she was crossing within a crosswalk while she had a walk sign when she was struck. Thus, she claimed that Fred Atrash failed to yield the right of way. Fred Atrash did not dispute liability for the incident., Following the accident, Petersen was transported by ambulance to Kaiser Foundation Hospital, in San Diego, where she was admitted for three days. Petersen was diagnosed as having sustained displaced tibial fractures in her right leg, as well as fractures of her right fibula and comminuted plateau fractures. She ultimately underwent an open reduction and internal fixation procedure, which installed one plate as well as screws. Following the surgery, Petersen spent three months at a live-in rehabilitation facility. Despite undergoing extensive physical therapy, Petersen claimed a limited range of motion in her right knee. She alleged that as a result, she had difficulty with daily living activities, which included housekeeping, doing laundry, bathing and walking around in her community. Thus, Petersen sought recovery of more than $180,000 for her medical specials. She also claimed that she would require future care, costing more than $900,000, which would include costs for additional surgery and costs for an in-home attendant to assist her in bathing and traveling in her community. Defense counsel disputed the amount of the plaintiff’s alleged costs for future treatment, arguing that Petersen would not require further surgery or an in-home attendant to care for her. Counsel contended that instead of in-home attendant care, Petersen could install a “walk-in” bathtub, which would reportedly cost $5,000 to $10,000. Defense counsel further contended that, as for the rest of the duties allegedly requiring assistance, Petersen could instead hire a housekeeper for a fraction of the cost.
Superior Court of San Diego County, San Diego, CA

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