Moss Landing >> A jury verdict awarded almost $2 million to a woman who suffered a compound fracture to her leg when the motorcycle she was riding on collided with a car about four years ago in Moss Landing.
“The jury awarded $425,000 for past pain and suffering and $1.5 million for future pain and suffering,” said Charles “Tony” Piccuta, lawyer for plaintiff, Laura Hambrook.
At about 6:15 p.m. on Sunday July 20, 2014, Hambrook, 51, of Sand City, was a passenger on a Harley Davidson motorcycle driven by Jimmie Lafitte, 63, of Del Rey Oaks. The two were traveling southbound on Highway 1 south of Potrero Road in Moss Landing.
A Saturn vehicle driven by David Pierce, 52, of Hanford, was also traveling in the same direction when Lafitte attempted to pass on the right shoulder of the roadway and a nearby parking lot.
Pierce was turning into the parking lot of an artichoke stand when the collision with the motorcycle, which was traveling about 20 mph, occurred, subsequently pinning Hambrook between the Saturn and the Harley.
Hambrook suffered a grade 3B open tibia fibula fracture of her left leg and was air evacuated by CalStar to San Jose Regional Medical Center’s trauma center where she underwent emergency surgery. Hambrook’s compound fracture later developed a persistent bone infection requiring multiple additional surgeries.
According to the California Highway Patrol, the driver of the Harley Davidson was found at fault for passing on the right shoulder into the path of the Saturn.
Lafitte claimed he was not at fault and that the collision occurred in the parking lot when he was parking and that he was not passing on the shoulder of the road.
Hambrook only claimed damages for pain and suffering at trial. The jury found Lafitte 85 percent at fault and Pierce 15 percent at fault, with the jury trial in the civil suit lasting five days. Both parties are responsible for those percentages of the $1.925 million award to Hambrook.
“It is a jury verdict so it is final. All jury verdicts are subject to appeal,” said Piccuta. “I do not believe they will appeal.”
James Herrera can be reached at 831-726-4344.