Successful Motion for Summary Judgment in Serious Off-Road Accident Case

John Farmer and Lisa Freund again teamed together in the successful defense of a significant off-road injury case by way of a Motion for Summary Judgment. The accident occurred on Competition Hill at Buttercup Campground in Winterhaven, CA, in Imperial County. Plaintiff’s ATV collided with the defendant’s sandrail, resulting in a 2-3 month hospitalization for injuries consisting of multiple rib fractures on the left, ribs 9 through 12; thoracolumbar spine fractures, T11 and T12; left ankle fracture with open reduction and internal fixation; a pneumothorax and a hemothorax with a resulting left tube thoracostomy.

His claimed medical expenses were approximately $500,000. The loss of earnings claim was uncertain, but plaintiff had not worked since the accident. The principal defense rested on the theory of primary assumption of the risk applicable in the off-road accident setting under the case of Distefano v. Forester (2001) 85 Cal.App.4th 1249. Following contested oral argument, the trial court found the defense applicable and granted summary judgment for the defendant sandrail operator.