Driver hits pedestrian in crosswalk, resulting in multiple fractures. $11M. Los Angeles County.

Summary

Driver is hit in crosswalk, but defendant says that crosswalk was closed for construction, with an alternate crosswalk available.

The Case

  • Case Name: Lorraine Knight v. Robin Haskell et al.
  • Court and Case Number: Los Angeles Superior Court / 20STCV03008
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Monday, August 29, 2022
  • Date Action was Filed: Friday, January 24, 2020
  • Type of Action: Highlighted Verdicts, Vehicles - vs. Pedestrian
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. H. Chester Horn
  • Plaintiffs:
    Lorraine Knight
  • Defendants:
    Robin Haskell (driver)
    Jay Haskell (vehicle owner)
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: $11,000,000
  • Contributory/Comparative Negligence: 0%
  • Economic Damages:

    Future medical expenses: $1,500,000 

  • Non-Economic Damages:

    Past: $4,750,000 

    Future: $4,750,000 

  • Trial or Arbitration Time: 6 days
  • Jury Deliberation Time: 3 hours

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:

    Kramer Trial Lawyers APC by Daniel K. Kramer and Teresa A. Johnson, Los Angeles.

    Shawn Steel Law Firm by Alexander Eisner, Seal Beach.

  • Attorney for the Defendant:

    Macdonald & Cody by Michael Moon, Riverside.

The Experts

  • Plaintiff’s Medical Expert(s):

    Jan Roughan, life care planning.

  • Defendant's Medical Expert(s):

    Ronald Kvitne, M.D., orthopedic surgery.

  • Plaintiff's Technical Expert(s):

    David Teetz, forensic engineering.

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    On October 31, 2019, 64-year-old plaintiff was walking in a crosswalk at the intersection of Drybank Boulevard/Bart Earle Way and Silver Spur Road with her husband on their way to dinner in Rolling Hills Estates. At the same time, defendant Robin Haskell was driving her BMW SUV on Bart Earle Way/Drybank Boulevard, intending to turn left onto Silver Spur Road.

    Defendant driver did not stop her vehicle or slow down before she collided with plaintiff, who went flying and landed back toward the sidewalk, face down. As a result of the crash, plaintiff suffered serious injuries, including multiple fractures of her wrists, pelvis and left knee. Plaintiff has undergone three surgeries to date and doctors anticipate up to seven more surgeries in her future, along with ongoing pain and other issues.

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    That plaintiff had the right of way as she was lawfully within the crosswalk when she was hit by defendant. An eyewitness and the police officer confirmed that plaintiff had the right of way. Plaintiff claimed ongoing damages as a result of her injuries, including significant pain and activity restriction. As a result of her injuries, plaintiff has difficulty engaging in everyday tasks and can no longer maintain the extremely active lifestyle she led up to the time of the crash.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    Defendants contended that plaintiff was in a closed crosswalk at the time of the crash, and that she should have walked in the parallel crosswalk on the other side of the street. Defendants claimed the crosswalk was closed due to construction on a building at the corner of the intersection.

    Defendants argued that plaintiff had made a full recovery and would not need any ongoing surgeries or other care, and that she was back to doing the same activities she did before the crash. The defense asked for a full defense verdict.

Injuries and Other Damages

  • Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:

    Bilateral wrist (distal radius) fractures; sacral fracture; left tibial plateau fracture. Plaintiff has undergone two ORIF surgeries on her bilateral wrists and a carpal tunnel release on her right wrist. Plaintiff requires future wrist surgeries, an SI joint fusion, lumbar discectomy, knee arthroscopy and total knee replacement.

  • Plaintiff has pain engaging in all activities, and is no longer able to dance or be as active as she was before. She used to go to dance class multiple times per week, as well as do yoga, spin, and dragonboating. The pain affects her sleep and ability to do everyday activities.

Special Damages

  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Medical: None.
  • Special Damages Claimed - Future Medical: $1,100,000 to $1,600,000
  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Lost Earnings: None.
  • Special Damages Claimed - Future Lost Earnings: None.

Demands and Offers

  • Plaintiff §998 Demand: $2,000,000 in August 2021. (Extended/renewed on several occasions.)
  • Defendant §998 Offer: $425,000 in March 2022 and $550,000 via CCP 998 in May 2022.

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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