(Cheung v Corporate Interior Solutions San Francisco Superior Court case number 404347)
Our client, age 76, was in a pedestrian crosswalk in San Francisco taking his morning walk when he was struck by a motor vehicle operator turning right on a red light who failed to observe him in the crosswalk. Hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries, he recovered well, and was released home after only a few days, where his wife could help care for him. The next morning, she awoke to find her husband missing from the apartment. A frantic search took place and our client was found, semi-conscious, on the roof of an adjacent apartment building where he had fallen some 20 feet from his own roof. He had apparently wandered up to the roof, disoriented, and fallen, breaking several bones, and suffering a head injury from which he ultimately made a reasonable recovery.
While the driver of the motor vehicle admitted that the initial accident was his fault, he and his insurance company claimed to have no responsibility for the fall from the roof and the more serious injuries that resulted from that fall, claiming the fall was due to an age-related infirmity.
Our primary concern was for the extensive medical care and rehabilitation our client was going to need as a result of the injuries suffered in the fall. Through expert and lay testimony and investigation, we showed that the disorientation and roof fall resulted from side effects of medication he was prescribed for the initial injuries suffered after the car accident, and thus the driver of the car must be held legally responsible for the injuries suffered in the fall from the roof as well the injuries from the car accident. We prevailed, and our client received a 1.375 million dollar settlement, enough to take care of all his medical needs, modifications to his living arrangements, and damages for pain and suffering.