Case details

Waste disposal co.’s negligent training caused crash: officer





Result type

Not present

fracture, pelvis, wrist
On Aug. 4 2009, plaintiff Scott Wiese, a 26-year veteran and sergeant of the Monterey Park Police Department, was on-duty, riding a motorcycle on southbound Orange Avenue, heading toward Graves Avenue, in the city of Monterey Park. Around the same time, Christian Vicente, an employee of Athens Services, a city of Industry-based waste collection and recycling services company, stopped the Athens garbage truck on the western edge of Orange Avenue, facing north against oncoming traffic. After he finished arranging a set of garbage dumpsters for a later pick up, Vicente pulled out onto Orange Avenue, heading north on the wrong side of the street. As a result, Vincente struck Wiese’s motorcycle, causing significant to Wiese. Wiese sued Vicente and his employer, Athens Disposal Company Inc., doing business as Athens Services. Wiese’s employer, the city of Monterey Park, subsequently became an intervening plaintiff and Arakelian Enterprises Inc., which was the actual corporation that was doing business as Athens Services, became an intervening defendant. Weise alleged that Vincente was negligent in the operation of his company vehicle and that Athens Disposal was vicariously liable for Vincente’s actions. He also alleged that Athens Disposal failed to properly train its employees to safely collect trash to avoid driving on the wrong side of the road. Vicente disputed liability for the accident. Defense counsel argued that the fault for the accident rested with Wiese for being inattentive. Defense counsel also argued that California Vehicle Code § 21059 authorized the trash hauler to drive on the wrong side of the road. However, Wiese’s counsel argued that the trash hauler did not comply with the statute as neither the front nor back signal lamps were flashing simultaneously as he pulled into oncoming traffic. Additionally, Wiese’s counsel argued that the statute expressly states that it does not relieve the driver of his duty to drive with due care, which Vincente did not exercise as he pulled directly into Wiese’s path., Wiese sustained comminuted fractures to both wrists and a torn urethra. He also sustained contusions to the pelvis. After the accident, Wiese was transported via ambulance to the Los Angeles County + University of Southern California Emergency Department, where the trauma team examined and cared for him. In total, Wiese received care from the county of Los Angeles Department of Health & Human Services, USC Care Medical Group, USC University Hospital, Casa Colina and Covina Valley Urologic Medical Group, resulting in over $105,000 in medical expenses. Wiese suffers urethral stricture, which requires dilation to stretch the scar tissue to allow for a free flow of urine. The dilation procedure involves inserting a 10 to 11 inch metal rod, ranging from 12 to 32 millimeters in circumference, into the top of his penis, guided toward his bladder. Wiese’s wife, Stacy Wiese, sought recovery of damages for her loss of consortium. Defense counsel disputed the nature and extent of the urethral tear, arguing that Mr. Wiese will not require lifetime dilations.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Glendale, CA

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