Case details

Scooter rider claimed crash caused traumatic brain injury




Mediated Settlement

Result type

Not present

amnesia, anterior cruciate ligament, brain, brain injury, depression, fracture, hip, hip knee, knee, mental, psychological, tear, traumatic brain injury
On Oct. 1, 2009, plaintiff Erik Brinckmann, 35, a cashier, was traveling on his Vespa motor scooter at the intersection of Via Real and South Padaro in Carpenteria when he was struck by a truck driven by Rafael Martinez. Brinckmann claimed to his head, right hip and right knee. Brinckmann sued Martinez and Martinez’s employer, Westland Floral Co. Inc. Brinckmann alleged that Martinez was negligent in the operation of his vehicle, and that Westland Floral was vicariously liable for Martinez’s actions while in the course and scope of his employment at the time of the accident. Specifically, he claimed that Martinez failed to yield the right of way and made an unsafe left turn into his motor scooter. Martinez claimed he was already completing his left turn when Brinckmann, who was speeding, entered the intersection., Brinckmann sustained head trauma, a right hip joint fracture with dislocation and an anterior cruciate ligament tear of the right knee. He was subsequently taken to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital after the accident, where he remained for two weeks while he had surgery to stabilize his hip joint fracture/dislocation. Brinckmann also suffered paralysis of his entire right side for one week as a result of his head trauma. In November 2009, he underwent hip surgery again for further repairs and in June 2010, he underwent surgery to repair the anterior cruciate ligament tear in his right knee. Brinckmann noted that as a young child, he suffered from seizures that had been controlled with medication. However, he claimed he suffered a traumatic brain injury in the accident, causing the seizures to return. He also claimed his brain injury left him with impaired memory, dysfunctional encoding of information, a disturbance in attention and speed of information processing, increased irritability and agitation, and impairment in perceptual abilities. Brinckmann also claimed he suffered post-traumatic stress disorder, resulting in anxiety and depression. He subsequently underwent a period of rehabilitation for his brain injury at Solutions of Santa Barbara Center. However, Brinckmann alleged he was unable to work as a result of his brain injury and was put on long-term disability. He also alleged he is unable to socialize normally or participate in sports. In addition, plaintiff’s counsel contended that Brinckmann will require psychotherapy for the rest of his life. Defense counsel asserted that Brinckmann’s alleged emotional were pre-existing. Counsel also asserted that Brinckmann had prior brain injury symptoms that were similar to those he claimed after the accident.
Superior Court of Santa Barbara County, Santa Barbara, CA

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