Case details

Plaintiff: Woman who ran over toes was driving too fast in alley





Result type

Not present

closed reduction, foot, fracture, heel, metatarsal, nondisplaced fracture
On Nov. 8, 2010, plaintiff Fernando Flores, 63, a painter, was painting wooden boards in an alley on 7th Ct, 30 feet north of Broadway, in Santa Monica. At approximately 1:15 p.m., while Flores was kneeling on the ground adjacent to two trash bins, a vehicle operated by Suzann Sturtridge passed by and ran over the toes of plaintiff’s right foot. Flores sustained non-displaced fractures of three metatarsals. Flores sued Sturtridge. He alleged she was negligent in the operation of her vehicle, causing the accident and his . Flores contended that Sturtridge was negligent for driving down the alley at a high rate of speed, and not noticing him painting in the area. Sturtridge contended that she did not believe she ran over Flores’ foot. The police report placed Flores as the “Primary Collision Factor” in violation of Vehicle Code section 21954(A), but listed Sturtridge’s unsafe speed for road conditions as an “associated factor.” , Flores was taken by ambulance to the emergency room from the scene of the accident. He sustained three metatarsal fractures to his right foot, and was placed in a splint and an open-toe cast for the first two months. Flores underwent treatment with his orthopedist three times over four months. Four months after the accident, his orthopedist reported that the fractures fully healed, and that Flores had no tenderness over the dorsal aspect of the right foot at the base of the fractured metatarsals. The orthopedist further reported that Flores had a normal gait, was ambulating without assistive devices, and was wearing regular footwear, and that Flores was discharged from treatment. Flores contended that while his have mostly resolved, he still experiences pain in his right toes after walking two blocks or standing on his feet for 30 minutes. He was evaluated by his orthopedist on the first day of trial, who opined that the accident caused an acceleration of arthritis, and that Flores will need partial fusion surgery in five to 10 years. Flores claimed $6,699.24 in past medical costs, and further asked the jury for $56,100 in damages for future medical costs, $35,000 for past pain and suffering ($30,000 for the initial four months and $5,000 from March 2011 to July 2012), and $50,000 for future pain and suffering . Defense counsel contended that Flores healed from his in four months, and had no claims for future damages. Defense’s orthopedic expert claimed that there was no causal connection between the and Flores’ accelerated arthritis, since the fractures did not involve any joints and had healed, and because Flores had not sought any medical treatment after his discharge. The expert further contended that if Flores did require future fusion surgery, it would cost between $15,000 and $20,000.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Santa Monica, CA

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