Gynecological injuries disputed by defense after defendant driver hits plaintiff's car twice. Defense verdict. Fresno County.

Summary

Injury causation is in dispute when woman claims gynecological injuries in auto accident.

The Case

  • Case Name: Keren and Jonathan Farley v. Pedro Bautista
  • Court and Case Number: Fresno County Superior Court / 1CECG03858
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Monday, May 03, 2021
  • Date Action was Filed: Wednesday, November 30, 2016
  • Type of Action: Vehicles - Auto vs. Auto
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Kristi Culver Kapetan
  • Plaintiffs:
    Keren and Jonathan Farley
  • Defendants:
    Pedro Bautista
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: Defense verdict
  • Trial or Arbitration Time: 11 days
  • Jury Deliberation Time: 40 minutes
  • Jury Polls: 12-0

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:

    Law Offices of Paul M. Smith, II by Paul M. Smith, II, Fresno.

    Alexander Law Group, LLP by Nina Shapirshteyn, San Jose.

  • Attorney for the Defendant:

    Macdonald & Cody, LLP by Michael J. Cody and Danielle M. Boyd, Irvine.

The Experts

  • Plaintiff’s Medical Expert(s):

    Matthew Karlovsky, M.D., urology, pelvic medicine.

    Craig Comiter, M.D., urology, pelvic medicine. (Treating physician.)

    David Dorough, M.D., obstetrics/gynecology. (Treating physician.)

    Frank Cantrell, M.D., neurology. (Treating physician.)

    Michael Madeiros, M.D., neurology. (Treating physician.)

    Andrea Rapkin, M.D., obstetrics/gynecology. (Treating physician.)

  • Defendant's Medical Expert(s):

    Jane Van Dis, M.D., obstetrics/gynecology. 

    Nadeem Rahman, M.D., urology. (Treating physician.)

    Stephanie Prendergast, MPT, physical therapy and pelvic health rehabilitation. (Treating physician.)

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    The lawsuit arose from a two-vehicle auto accident that occurred in December 2014. The accident occurred in a rural intersection outside of Fresno in Kingsburg. Plaintiff, a 37-year-old married mother of five children, was driving an SUV with two of her minor children in the car, including her eight-month-old daughter. As plaintiff’s vehicle entered the intersection, the 78-year-old defendant did not stop at the stop sign for cross-traffic, T-boned plaintiff’s SUV on the passenger side, spinning it around. Defendant’s vehicle ended up stuck in a fence.

    After the vehicles came to rest, the defendant tried to free his vehicle from the fence, accelerated and struck plaintiff’s vehicle again, this time on the driver’s side. The collision was so violent that it caused one of the children’s car seats to smash through a rear window. 

    The first trial took place in 2018 and resulted in a mistrial with a deadlocked jury.

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    That eighteen months before the accident, plaintiff had suffered a stretch injury to her sacral plexus – the nerves that innervate and control function for her female reproductive organs and bladder – while giving birth to her fourth child. Plaintiff contended that her birth injury had completely resolved prior to the accident, even to the point of allowing her to conceive and give birth to a fifth child during that 18-month period. Plaintiff argued that the accident severely reaggravated her prior injury, resulting in a permanent loss of feeling to her female reproductive organs and bladder, and loss of bladder control.

    Plaintiff argued that the accident severely reaggravated her prior injury (eggshell plaintiff), resulting in a permanent loss of feeling to her female reproductive organs and bladder, and loss of bladder control.

    Plaintiff’s husband claimed loss of consortium for the diminished sexual intimacy the couple had after the accident.

    Plaintiff’s expert testified that the impact of the accident caused Plaintiff’s pelvic organs to shift, causing a stretch injury to the sacral plexus with resulting nerve damage. The expert testified that because the nerves were previously injured, they would not be able to recover from this subsequent injury and she would be permanently numb.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    Defendant contended that Keren Farley had never fully recovered from the 2012 birth injury to her pelvic floor/sacral plexus. Defense presented an expert ob-gyn who refuted the opinions of plaintiff’s expert and testified that plaintiff had a prior nerve injury that had not fully recovered, despite plaintiff’s claims to the contrary. There were no medical records documenting a 100% pre-accident recovery of the original birth injury.

Injuries and Other Damages

  • Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:

    Permanent loss of feeling to her female reproductive organs and bladder, and loss of bladder control.

  • Jonathan Farley claimed loss of consortium for the diminished sexual intimacy the couple had after the accident.

Special Damages

  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Medical: Waived
  • Special Damages Claimed - Future Medical: N/A
  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Lost Earnings: N/A
  • Special Damages Claimed - Future Lost Earnings: N/A

Demands and Offers

  • Defendant §998 Offer: 100,000

Additional Notes

In March 2021, defendant served a 998 Offer for $100,000 – representing the entire policy limits. Plaintiffs rejected the Offer, claiming the policy was open.

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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