SAN ANGELO, TX — The Robert Martinez v. Target lawsuit set for mid-June has been reset for September 13 to allow the plaintiff time to negotiate new evidence set forth by the defense because apparently, Target has identified two major discrepancies in Martinez's complaint (See the original complaint in our initial article about this case here).
To summarize the original complaint, Robert Martinez purchased a new bicycle from Target in San Angelo and attempted to ride the bike from just outside the front doors of the store and to his car located in the parking lot. While in the parking lot, the allegedly loose handlebars caused Mr. Martinez to violently fall and that resulted in a rotator cuff surgery most notably, along with bruised ribs, and cuts to the wrists. Martinez left the scene by ambulance and is now seeking over $100,000 in damages from the Target Corporation in court.
The evidence Martinez initially planned to use to prove his case has come in to question. And the defense moved for all such evidence to be thrown out as spoiled.
"Given the twice‐altered condition of the bicycle, Target cannot determine what the actual
condition of the bicycle was at the time of the accident or immediately post‐fall, and whether the
manner in which the bicycle was assembled caused and/or contributed to cause Plaintiff’s fall.
Nor can Target verify the veracity or accuracy of the data compiled by Plaintiff’s expert," Target's attorneys state in a reply to Martinez's lawsuit.
If the handlebars cannot be proven loose, and the bike therefore defective, it seems the plaintiff has little grounds to sue. It can be assumed the plaintiff will be forced to rely on their forensic investigators' recreation of the crash as well as their investigation into the wider range of Target's bicycles and the inventory's supposed faults.
To compound this loose footing in Martinez's case, the Target defense has come to question whether the plaintiff's supposed injuries were valid in the first place. Target brought in Dr. Richard Levy, MD, as an expert witness to examine Mr. Martinez's injuries.
Speaking about the MRI taken by Longhorn Imaging of the plaintiff's left shoulder and arm on June 8, 2017 after the May 13 crash, the expert claimed, "He had a complete tear above the supraspinatus and then infraspinatus tendons, which are two of the rotator cuff tendons with retraction, meaning pulled away -- far away from the bone, and also having atrophy, meaning the muscle was shriveled. The atrophy part of this tells us that it's been there for a long time. You don't get atrophy until a tear has been present [for] 6 months, usually 12 or more months, Yeah. You just don't get atrophy in three weeks, so it is with the highest degree of probability that I can say that tear did not happen three weeks prior to the MRI."
The Doctor suggested that Mr. Martinez, a retired police officer of 35 years and former assistant chief of police, had been living with the rotator cuff tear for months or perhaps even a year. Therefore Robert Martinez did not need surgery because of the bike accident outside of Target, and that, in all likelihood Mr. Martinez is knowingly fabricating any connection thereof, the expert claimed. There is more.
During Dr. Levy's deposition he was asked questions regarding the surveillance video of the incident. The questioner asked the doctor which side of the plaintiff struck the ground initially. The doctor responds, the right side.
"In my years of treating shoulder patients after bicycle crashes, which is probably hundreds, I have never seen an injury to the opposite shoulder that somebody's landed on. They have abrasions, road rash, whatever it is.· The injury to that shoulder is always on the same side, not once have I ever seen someone fall on their right shoulder and injure their left shoulder," the doctor stated under oath.
In the records from Shannon Medical Center where the patient was initially seen, it was supposed that Mr. Martinez fell on his left side because of his complaints about that area. "He fell off of the bike falling forward landing on his left shoulder, hitting his left shoulder, left side of his head and right knee. He was seen at Shannon Medical Center emergency room for evaluation, treated, and released," court documents report.
The camera feed supposedly tells a different story.
Q: "Did you ever see any point where his left shoulder absorbed the impact of his collision with the concrete?"
A: Dr. Levy: "No. At no point did I see his left shoulder hit anything."
The Plaintiff at this point has no medical expert witness of their own to rebut Dr. Levy's findings which would seem a necessity if they want to be rewarded damages that includes the $65,000 surgery to repair the tear. Despite these revelations, the case has not been settled and is moving forward although it has been delayed. The court is set to hear the case on September 13 of this year.
After the publication of the first article, the judge put into place a gag order after attorneys claimed one side or the other was "leaking" information about this case to San Angelo LIVE! The plaintiff's counsel specifically denied leaking information to this publication but would not agree cease to "make such disclosures in the future."
For the record, no one is leaking anything to us. Everything is in court documents and freely accessible. San Angelo LIVE! is exercising its Constitutional rights, as set forth in the First Amendment.
The First Amendment in the Bill of Rights states, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."