Case details

Broadside crash caused herniated discs, plaintiff alleged





Result type

Not present

back, back pain, fusion, herniated disc, lumbar, neck, neurological, radiculopathy
On May 7, 2011, plaintiff Merry Kilpatrick, 46, a truck driver for the U.S. Postal Service, was driving south on Azusa Street in Azusa. At approximately 12 noon, while entering the intersection of Rowling Street, Kilpatrick was broadsided by a vehicle operated by Marcos Sanchez, who was making a left turn from northbound Azusa Street onto Rowling Street. Kilpatrick claimed to her neck and back. Kilpatrick sued Sanchez and the vehicle’s owner, Continental Currency Inc., which was also Sanchez’s employer. She alleged that Sanchez was negligent in the operation of his vehicle and that Continental Currency was vicariously liable for his actions. Kilpatrick claimed that Sanchez failed to yield to oncoming traffic at the intersection in question and was driving inattentively while making the left turn. She also claimed that her car was totaled as a result of the force from the collision. Continental Currency admitted that Sanchez was liable for the accident and that it was responsible for his actions., Kilpatrick was taken from the scene of the accident by ambulance and brought to an emergency room, where she complained of neck and back pain. She underwent MRIs of her neck and lower back, which revealed cervical and lumbar disc herniations at C5-6 and L5-S1, respectively. Kilpatrick initially treated her conservatively with physical therapy, epidural injections and pain management. However, she claimed her didn’t resolve and, on Aug. 2, 2011, she underwent an anterior discectomy at C6-7. On Sept. 16, 2011, Kilpatrick underwent a discectomy and fusion at L5-S1 because of constant pain and signs of radiculopathy. Kilpatrick alleged that she missed one year of work following the accident, and that she still experiences residual neck and back pain. She alleged that she used to work out six days a week prior to the accident, but that she is now restricted in doing so, as well as restricted in her ability to care for her children, including one adopted child that has cerebral palsy. Thus, Kilpatrick claimed damages consisting of $350,000 in past medical costs, $48,000 in past lost earnings, and $650,000 in past and future pain and suffering. Continental Currency’s insurance carrier contended that Kilpatrick’s lumbar spine injury may have been pre-existing due to her occupation, which required heavy lifting and pushing over 300-pound mail containers. The carrier further contended that the plaintiff’s medical records showed a minor back injury from 2006, whereby she was diagnosed with lumbar scoliosis.
Matter not filed, CA

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