Case details

Scooter riders claimed injuries from intersection collision





Result type

Not present

arm, collarbone, fracture, knee, patella, shoulder
On Feb. 15, 2015, plaintiff Roche Hahan, 35, was operating a SYM Evo scooter, a small Vespa-type scooter, on northbound 25th Avenue, in San Francisco, with his wife, plaintiff Marielisa Villasenor, 26, a pastry chef, seated as a passenger. As the entered the intersection with Geary Boulevard on a green traffic light, the scooter collided into the front passenger door of a BMW 745L sedan operated by Morning Chuang, who had run a red light on westbound Geary Street. The BMW then continued straight and struck a Toyota Prius operated by plaintiff Michael Samson, 35, an accounts payable clerk, who was traveling on southbound 25th Avenue with plaintiff Morgan St. Clair, 31, an event manager, as a passenger. Hahan claimed to his knee and clavicle; Villasenor claimed to her forearm and clavicle; and Samson and St. Clair claimed minor neck and back pain. Hahan and Villasenor sued Morning Chuang and the owner of the BMW, Eve Chuang, who was also Mr. Chuang’s wife and a passenger in the BMW at the time of the collision. Hahan and Villasenor alleged that Mr. Chuang was negligent in the operation of the BMW and that Ms. Chuang was vicariously liable for her husband’s actions. Samson and St. Clair filed a separate suit against the Chuangs, and the matters were ultimately consolidated. Prior to trial, Samson and St. Clair settled their case, and Ms. Chuang was dismissed. Mr. Chuang admitted liability shortly before trial., Hahan and Villasenor were taken by ambulance to San Francisco General Hospital, in San Francisco. Hahan sustained fractures of the left clavicle, right patella, and left thumb. He ultimately underwent open reduction and internal fixation surgeries on the right knee and left collarbone. He also underwent surgeries to remove the hardware in the clavicle and to clean up the bone fragments in the knee. Hahan claimed that he will require a knee arthroscopy in one year and a patellofemoral replacement (a type of partial knee replacement surgery) in 10 to 20 years after that. He also claimed that he will eventually need a full knee replacement in 10 to 15 years after the patellofemoral replacement and that if he is still alive by then, he may need a revision of the knee replacement. Thus, Hahan sought recovery of future medical costs, and damages for his past and future pain and suffering. (He waived his claims for past medical costs and he had no wage loss claim). Villasenor sustained fractures of her left clavicle and the ulna in her right, dominant forearm. She also sustained a laceration to right forearm and various soft-tissue aches, pains and abrasions. She ultimately underwent open reduction and internal fixation surgeries on her right forearm and left collarbone. Villasenor claimed that she missed time from work as a result of her that she will need to have the hardware in her clavicle removed. Thus, Villasenor sought recovery of $16,000 in past lost earnings, an unspecified amount of future medical costs, and an unspecified amount of damages for her past and future pain and suffering. (She waived her claims for past medical costs.) Defense counsel disputed the value of Hahan and Villasenor’s injury claims. The defense’s expert orthopedic surgeon performed independent medical exams of both Hahan and Villasenor and confirmed the plaintiffs’ . He also opined that the plaintiffs’ medical treatments were appropriate and that Hahan would benefit from a knee arthroscopy. However, the defense’s expert opined that any additional future surgery was not necessary and was speculative and that Villasenor would not benefit from having the hardware in her clavicle removed.
Superior Court of San Francisco County, San Francisco, CA

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