Case details

Bicyclist claimed cervical injury caused by collision





Result type

Not present

back, neck, shoulder, trauma to cervical spine
On Feb. 21, 2012, plaintiff Joel Palacios Somera, an ice cream cart salesman in his 40s who only spoke Spanish, was riding his bicycle along Fairview Street, in Santa Ana, when he was struck by a truck operated by Eldred Powers. Palacios Somera subsequently fell to the ground and allegedly sustained to his neck, back, and a shoulder. Palacios Somera sued Powers; Powers’ employer, Sign Specialists Corp.; and the owner of Powers’ truck and Sign Specialists Corp., Garrick Batt. Palacios Somera alleged that Powers was negligent in the operation of the truck and that Sign Specialists Corp. and Batt were vicariously liable for Powers’ actions while in the course and scope of his employment. The defendants admitted liability., Palacios Somera claimed that he sustained trauma to his cervical spine as a result of the accident, causing an inflammation that resulted in cervical spinal stenosis at the C5-6 level. He was subsequently taken immediately to a hospital, where he was treated and released. He then treated with few months of physical therapy and chiropractic care. Palacios Somera ultimately underwent a surgery on his cervical spine in January 2016. The plaintiff’s expert orthopedic surgeon opined that Palacios Somera’s medical treatment and costs were reasonable. However, Palacios Somera claimed that he continues to suffer ongoing aches and pains to his neck, back, and a shoulder. Thus, Palacios Somera sought recovery of $283,000 in past medical costs and an unspecified amount of damages for his pain and suffering. Defense counsel disputed the amount of Palacios Somera’s medical costs, and argued that the alleged spinal stenosis was due to aging and not caused by the collision. Counsel also contended that Palacios Somera’s cervical surgery was unnecessary, that the medical costs were unreasonable and excessive, and that Palacios Somera should have healed within a few months of the accident.
Superior Court of Orange County, Orange, CA

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