Cyclist runs into truck making a right-hand turn. $688K. Marin County.

Summary

Cyclist says driver was negligent for turning right in front of him.

The Case

  • Case Name: Henry Hodge v. Kenneth M. Fox
  • Court and Case Number: Marin County Superior Court / CIV 1801644
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Monday, September 09, 2019
  • Date Action was Filed: Tuesday, May 15, 2018
  • Type of Action: Bicycle Accident, Vehicles - Right Turn
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Andrew Sweet
  • Plaintiffs:
    Henry Hodge, 53, unemployed carpenter.
  • Defendants:
    Kenneth M. Fox
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: $688,754
  • Net Verdict or Award: $688,754
  • Contributory/Comparative Negligence: None.
  • Economic Damages:

    Future medical: $88,754

  • Non-Economic Damages:

    Past: $200,000 

    Future: $400,000

  • Trial or Arbitration Time: 7 days.
  • Jury Deliberation Time: 2 days .
  • Jury Polls: 10-2 on liability.
  • Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: Judgment satisfied for $850,000 with post trial motions by both sides pending

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:

    Rush Injury Law by James D. Rush, Novato.

  • Attorney for the Defendant:

    Carbone, Smith & Koyama by Michael Chambers, Oakland.

The Experts

  • Plaintiff’s Medical Expert(s):

    Daniel Solomon, M.D., orthopedic surgery, Larkspur.

    Fernando Miranda, M.D., neurology, San Rafael.

    Edgar Angelone, Ph.D., neuropsychology, San Rafael.

  • Defendant's Medical Expert(s):

    Mark Strassberg, M.D.

    Mark Schrumpf, M.D.

    Ronald Roberts, Ph.D.

  • Plaintiff's Technical Expert(s):

    Michael Mahoney, accident reconstruction, Walnut Creek.

  • Defendant's Technical Expert(s):

    Katerina Blazek, Ph.D., biomechanics and accident reconstruction, Mountain View.

    Tate Kubose, Ph.D., human factors, Los Altos.

     

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    Plaintiff was riding his bicycle in an unmarked bicycle lane in San Rafael on March 31, 2018 when defendant's truck turned in front of plaintiff from the right lane in an attempt to pull into a parking spot. Plaintiff collided with defendant's truck and was thrown headfirst into a curbside tree. Plaintiff was not wearing a helmet.

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    That defendant caused the collision by making an unsafe turn in violation of Vehicle Code 22017, by failing to look and signal before changing lanes..

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    That plaintiff was unlawfully passing on the right side and that plaintiff was the sole cause of the collision and his injuries.

    Also, that plaintiff's brain injury was caused by a long, unrelated medical history and that plaintiff should be  liable for failing to wear a helmet.

Injuries and Other Damages

  • Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:

    Plaintiff claimed a brain injury and orthopedic injuries in the form of a severely fractured clavicle, a fractured scapula, and multiple rib fractures.

Special Damages

  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Medical: 0
  • Special Damages Claimed - Future Medical: $230,779
  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Lost Earnings: 0
  • Special Damages Claimed - Future Lost Earnings: 0

Demands and Offers

  • Plaintiff §998 Demand: $299,000 in December 2018.
  • Defendant §998 Offer: $150,000 in August 2019.

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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