Case details

Ambulance passenger claimed injuries from crash




Mediated Settlement

Result type

Not present

ankle, ankle ligament, back pain, elbow, face, head, neurological, nose, right shoulder, tarsal tunnel syndrome, tear
On Nov. 26, 2012, plaintiff Nimia Urias, 45, a stay-at home-mother, was accompanying her daughter inside a private ambulance as she was being transported to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. The ambulance, which was owned by MEDResponse Inc. and operated by Tyler Behling, was traveling on eastbound Sunset Boulevard, in Hollywood, when it rear-ended another vehicle. At the time of impact, Urias was sitting in the back of the ambulance, on a bench, next to a metal railing, with a lap belt on. She claimed that as a result of the impact, her body was jolted side-to-side. Urias alleged that she was first jolted to the right side, causing her to strike the right side of her face, head, and right shoulder hard against the metal railing/bar in the ambulance. After hitting the metal bar/rail, Urias’ body was then allegedly jolted to her left, causing her to react by trying to plant her left foot on the floor in an effort to keep from falling. She claimed that as a result, her left ankle turned/twisted and rolled. Urias sued Behling and MEDResponse Inc. Urias alleged that Behling was negligent in the operation of the ambulance, as he was texting while driving. She also alleged that MEDResponse was vicariously liable for Behling’s actions during the course and scope of his work with the company. Defense counsel argued that the accident was minor and that the ambulance came into contact with the rear of the other vehicle at a very low speed, at approximately one or two mph., Urias claimed that she sustained torn lateral ligaments, a peroneal tendon injury (a split tear of the peroneus brevis tendon), and a tear of the plantar fascia of her left foot. She also claimed a rotator cuff tear to her right shoulder. In addition, she claimed she suffered to her face and back, resulting in back pain. Urias subsequently underwent three surgeries to her left ankle/foot, as well as arthroscopic rotator cuff repair/debridement and a subacromial decompression bursectomy surgery to the right shoulder, in September 2013, March 2014, and December 2014. She also underwent physical therapy. Urias claimed that despite treatment, she suffers from tarsal tunnel syndrome and neuritis of her left ankle/foot, as well as right shoulder impingement syndrome. Thus, Urias sought recovery of approximately $90,000 in past medical costs for the surgeries, physical therapy, MRIs, and other medical treatment. She also sought recovery of future medical costs and damages for her past and future pain and suffering. Defense counsel asserted that Urias’ and treatment to her left ankle/foot were unrelated to the collision and that all of Urias’ to her right shoulder and back were minor. Counsel contended that Urias only sustained a contusion and a sprain/strain, which healed after approximately six or eight weeks. Defense counsel further asserted that any problems in Urias’ cervical and thoracolumbar spine were from pre-existing, long-standing, degenerative changes that were not aggravated by the incident.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles, CA

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