Case details

Truck driver’s unsafe turn caused collision: motorcyclist





Result type

Not present

brain, brain injury, concussion, head, knee
On Nov. 3, 2011, at approximately 2:15 p.m., plaintiff Claude Stroud, 39, was riding his motorcycle in the right lane on eastbound Pacific Coast Highway in Long Beach when he entered the intersection with Hayes Avenue and was broadsided by a pickup truck, which was pulling a double axle trailer and was operated by Christopher Morales on southbound Hayes Avenue. Stroud injured his head, left thumb, right hand and right knee/leg in the accident. Stroud sued Morales, and Morales’ employer and owner of the truck, FSI Fields Specialties Inc. Stroud alleged that Morales was negligent in the operation of his vehicle and that FSI was vicariously liable for his actions. Stroud claimed that Morales failed to yield to oncoming traffic when making his left turn. He also claimed he collided with the tow bar between the truck and the trailer, throwing him from his motorcycle. Morales claimed that the eastbound lanes of Pacific Coast Highway were backed up and that traffic was stopped. He also claimed that the vehicles in the eastbound lanes of Pacific Coast Highway stopped at the intersection with Hayes Avenue and permitted him to make his left turn. Thus, Morales claimed that he made his left turn when it was supposedly safe to do so. However, he alleged that after his truck cleared the intersection without issue, Stroud entered the intersection by “curb sneaking,” or riding along the shoulder of the highway. In addition, he alleged that by Stroud’s own admission, Stroud’s view of the intersection may have been obstructed by another truck. Thus, Morales claimed that as a result of Stroud’s curb sneaking and not slowing down as he approached the intersection, Stroud collided with the trailer attached to the pickup truck., Stroud sustained a concussion, a displaced left thumb with articular surface derangement, right hand lacerations, a right knee sprain/contusion, and a right tibia/fibula abrasion. He was subsequently taken from the scene of the accident by ambulance and brought to an emergency room. Stroud ultimately underwent open reduction and internal fixation surgery on his left thumb, as well as arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, which included a partial lateral meniscectomy, chondroplasty of the lateral femoral condyle and a patellar synovectomy. Stroud claimed that he suffered from post-concussion syndrome for several months after the accident, which made it difficult for him to focus at work, interact with his family and friends, or enjoy his usual activities. Thus, he sought recovery of roughly $120,000 in past medical costs, and an unspecified amount of damages for his pain and suffering. Defense counsel contended that Stroud’s medical bills were extremely inflated and unreasonable.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Long Beach, CA

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