The plaintiff was the passenger in a vehicle, insured with $20,000 in coverage, which struck a vehicle turning left; the latter vehicle with a $250,000 policy.
The plaintiff suffered a comminuted ankle fracture, which was reduced in the emergency room. She underwent a course of physical therapy and completed active treatment within seven months of the accident.
In an evaluation conducted by Dr. George Theodore, a foot/ankle specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital, the plaintiff was referred for an MRI, which showed the development of post-traumatic arthritis. The interpretation was corroborated by an orthopedic radiologist retained by the plaintiff, Dr. Kris Gupta of Rhode Island.
Complicating the plaintiff’s medical situation was a history of bilateral clubfoot, for which she underwent two surgeries at ages 3 and 14.
An audiovisual deposition of Theodore was taken two weeks prior to the scheduled trial and one week after mediation. Theodore opined that the post-traumatic arthritis was due to the accident and that the history of clubfoot was non-contributory.
Both vehicles had a green light. Liability was contested by the driver of the vehicle turning left. That defendant alleged that the vehicle in which the plaintiff was a passenger was speeding and as was claimed by a witness was traveling in a lane that was not designated for travel as well as passing on the right because a line of vehicles to its left had been stopped for traffic.
The plaintiff countered that the witness did not have a proper foundation on which to gauge speed, that the roadway was sufficiently wide for two lanes of traffic, although not delineated as such, and that, in any event, consistent with case law (Mari v. Delong, 62 Mass. App. Ct. 87, 2004), the statute (G.L. c. 89, Sect. 8) and the yield sign on the traffic light on the defendant who was turning left, a liability finding was highly likely on that vehicle.
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