Sacramento Man Suffers Traumatic Brain Injury In Car Accident, Part 1 of 9

It is worth noting that situations similar to those described in this traumatic brain injury case could just as easily occur with hospital staff at any of the healthcare facilities in the area, such as Kaiser Permanente, UC Davis Medical Center, Mercy, Methodist, or Sutter.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this personal injury lawsuit and its proceedings.)

Plaintiffs Opposition to Defendant Melissa Brown, M.D.’s, Motion to Strike Punitive Damages

On June 16, 2009, at approximately 2:30 p.m. in the afternoon, Melissa Brown, M.D., fell asleep while driving and mowed down the Plaintiff, David Hall, as he was jogging on the sidewalk. Dr. Brown caused David to sustain serions and permanent injuries, including: traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, thoracic spine fractures, left fibula fracture, multiple lacerations, severe abrasions (road rash) from his upper back, arms, knees, thighs and toes, and contusions.

Dr. Brown, who is to do no harm as a physician, left Universal Hospital where she had been working, and drove home in a fatigued and sleep-deprived condition. Her ability to drive safely was significantly impaired. Her decision to drive while impaired is no different than a person driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in conscious disregard for the safety of others. Punitive damages are routinely pled in motor vehicle accident cases where the defendant was driving under the influence. See, e.g., Peterson v. Superior Ct. (1982) 31 Cal. 3d 147; Taylor v. Superior Ct (1979) 24 Cal.3d 890, 894.

In fact, Plaintiff is clearly entitled to plead punitive damages under statutory and common law rights controlling his causes of action. Those include, inter alia: Civ. Code § 3294; Potter v. Firestone & Rubber Co. (1993) 6 Cal.4th 965, 985; Taylor, 24 Cal.3d at 894.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Consistent with applicable law, Plaintiff has alleged, inter alia, that Dr. Brown failed to use reasonable care while wantonly and recklessly driving; failed to use reasonable care appropriate to avoid driving on public roads, streets and highways in a sleep-deprived and fatigued state and acted wantonly and recklessly; acted so wantonly, recklessly and/or negligently with a willful and conscious disregard of the rights or safety of others, including David; and that David was injured as a result of Dr. Brown’s careless and reckless conduct, acts or omissions.

Dr. Brown seeks to strike the following portions of Plaintiff’s Complaint: (a) Paragraph 13, line 27 on page 3 and lines 1 – 2 on page 4 regarding witness observations of the Defendant at the scene of the incident; (b) Paragraph 32, lines 11-12 regarding Defendant Sandy Wong’s knowledge or duty to know that Defendant Melissa Brown, M.D., was a foreseeable threat to the health and safety of the public; (c) Paragraph 39, Page 9 regarding Defendant’s reckless behavior; and (d) Plaintiff’s prayer for punitive damages against Dr. Brown. Her motion to strike fails on all counts because David’s allegations are allowed under the negligence theories pled in his Complaint and he has pled sufficient facts to justify seeking, punitive damages. (See Part 2 of 9.)

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Contact Information