Defendant driver admits liability in crash with motorcycle, but disputes need for future treatment. $1.6M. Los Angeles County.
Left-turn accident at intersection leaves motorcycle driver with serious leg, hip and knee injuries.
- Case Name: LeClair v. Morton
- Court and Case Number: Superior Court of Los Angeles / 19STCV23903
- Date of Verdict or Judgment: Tuesday, March 08, 2022
- Date Action was Filed: Wednesday, July 10, 2019
- Type of Action: Vehicles - Left Turn, Vehicles - Motorcycle
- Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Randy Rhodes
- Plaintiffs: Stephen LeClair, 60, artist
- Defendants: Grace Morton
- Type of Result: Jury Verdict
- Gross Verdict or Award: $1,609,904
- Economic Damages:
Past medical expenses: $181,500
Future medical expenses: $128,404
- Non-Economic Damages:
- Trial or Arbitration Time: 3 days
- Jury Deliberation Time: 2 hours
- Jury Polls: 12-0
- Attorney for the Plaintiff:
Panish Shea Boyle Ravipudi LLP by Robert Glassman and Jon Davidi, Los Angeles.
- Attorney for the Defendant:
Tyson & Mendes, LLP by Kara Pape and Alexandra LaMonica, Los Angeles.
- Plaintiff’s Medical Expert(s):
Rajan Patel, M.D., orthopedic surgery, Los Angeles (Treating physician.)
Daniel Allison, M.D., orthopedic surgery, Los Angeles. (Treating physician.)
- Defendant's Medical Expert(s):
Stephen Mikulak, M.D., orthopedics, Newport Beach.
- Plaintiff's Technical Expert(s):
- Defendant's Technical Expert(s):
Nancy Fraser Michalski, billing.
Facts and Background
- Facts and Background:
On March 30, 2019, plaintiff was driving his Ducati motorcycle northbound on La Cienega Blvd. on his way home. As plaintiff was approaching the intersection with Melrose Place, defendant attempted to make a left turn from Melrose Place onto southbound La Cienega Blvd. Plaintiff collided with defendant's vehicle, flew in the air, and landed in the middle of the road.
Plaintiff was taken by ambulance to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where he was diagnosed with a comminuted fracture of the femoral neck. He underwent an emergency hip replacement the next morning with Dr. Daniel Allison. As plaintiff was recovering from his hip surgery, his knee pain continued to worsen. He later discover that he suffered a torn meniscus in his right knee as a result of the collision. He underwent an arthroscopic knee surgery six months after the collision.
- Plaintiff's Contentions:
All of plaintiff's injuries were related to the collision and severely impacted his activities of daily living. Plaintiff continued to walk with an abnormal gait, could no longer snowboard, surf, walk long distances, or exercise in the way he used to. Plaintiff would require a future hip revision surgery because the prosthetic would wear out over time. Plaintiff would require a partial knee replacement on his right knee.
- Defendant's Contentions:
Defendant admitted liability and conceded that plaintiff's hip and knee injuries were related to the crash. However, defendant disputed that plaintiff would need a revision surgery and contended that plaintiff was able to continue with most of his pre-collision activities.
Injuries and Other Damages
- Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Comminuted fracture of the right femoral neck. Torn meniscus of the right knee.
- Special Damages Claimed - Past Medical: $181,500
- Special Damages Claimed - Future Medical: $232,500
- Special Damages Claimed - Past Lost Earnings: None.
- Special Damages Claimed - Future Lost Earnings: None.
Demands and Offers
- Plaintiff §998 Demand: $1,425,000 in December of 2020.
- Defendant §998 Offer: $900,000 two weeks before trial.