Bus strikes bicyclist on street. $900K. San Diego County.

Summary

Bus driver tries to pass cyclist; cyclist is struck.

The Case

  • Case Name: Myers v. San Diego MTS
  • Court and Case Number: San Diego Superior Case / 37-2016-00016196-CU-PA-CTL.
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Friday, August 18, 2017
  • Date Action was Filed: Thursday, May 12, 2016
  • Type of Action: Bicycle Accident, Bus and Streetcar Passenger Accidents, Vehicles - Bus vs. Other
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Joan M. Lewis
  • Plaintiffs:
    Neil Myers, 66, retired.
  • Defendants:
    San Diego Metropolitan Transit District ("MTS")
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: $900,000 plus fees and costs.
  • Net Verdict or Award: $625,000, which included $66,300 in costs and $112,500 in attorney's fees.
  • Award as to each Defendant:

    All as to MTS.

  • Contributory/Comparative Negligence: 50% to plaintiff.
  • Economic Damages:

    $400,000

  • Non-Economic Damages:

    $500,000

  • Trial or Arbitration Time: 8 days.
  • Jury Deliberation Time: 2 days.
  • Jury Polls: 9-3

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:

    Dicks & Workman, Attorneys at Law, APC by Linda G. Workman and Joseph G. Dicks, San Diego.

  • Attorney for the Defendant:

    Law Office of William T Pascoe by William Pascoe, San Diego.

    Parker Straus, LLP by David Skyer, San Diego.

The Experts

  • Plaintiff’s Medical Expert(s):

    Raymond Vance, M.D., orthopedic surgery, San Diego.

  • Defendant's Medical Expert(s):

    None.

  • Plaintiff's Technical Expert(s):

    Robert Koetting, accident reconstruction, Redding.

    Joseph Cohen, human factors, San Diego.

  • Defendant's Technical Expert(s):

    Eugene Vanderpol, accident reconstruction/biomechanics.

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    On December 8, 2015, plaintiff was struck by an MTS bus while riding his bicycle west-bound on University Avenue just past the intersection of Mississippi Avenue. The bus and the bicyclist were both traveling in the right-hand lane westbound on University Avenue. The collision occurred while the bus was in the process of passing the bicyclist. When Mr. Myers was struck by the MTS bus, he was thrown to the pavement.

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    That MTS and the bus driver were at fault for the collision and his resulting injuries, having violated California’s “Three Feet for Safety” rule (Vehicle Code Section 21760), as well as violating multiple MTS policies, procedures and training rules concerning safety when operating around bicyclists.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    That plaintiff caused the accident; MTS also disputed the nature and extent of plaintiff's injuries and damage.

Injuries and Other Damages

  • Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:

    Fracture of the left hip and left shoulder; multiple cuts and extensive bruising. Mr. Myers required surgery to repair his hip, which included an open reduction, fixation and metal implant. Eventually, the metal implant loosened, and Mr. Myers developed an irregular gait, which will likely require an additional surgery, according to his orthopedic expert, Dr. Raymond Vance. Mr. Myers’ injuries were accompanied by severe and lasting pain, suffering and related emotional distress.

Special Damages

  • Special Damages Claimed - Future Medical: Waived.
  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Lost Earnings: None.
  • Special Damages Claimed - Future Lost Earnings: None.

Demands and Offers

  • Plaintiff §998 Demand: $98,000
  • Defendant §998 Offer: $18,000

Additional Notes

Plaintiff was awarded $112,500 in attorney’s fees for MTS’s unreasonable failure to admit requests for admission and $66,301 in costs/expert fees as defendant rejected plaintiff’s CCP §998. Full satisfaction of judgment filed June 1, 2018.

Disclaimer

This is not an official court document. While the publisher believes the information to be accurate, the publisher does not guarantee it and the reader is advised not to rely upon it without consulting the official court documents or the attorneys of record in this matter who are listed above.

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