Case details

Broadside crash caused shoulder impingement: plaintiff





Result type

Not present

back, cervical, face, head, left shoulder, neck, nose, shoulder, shoulder impingement, sprain
On Dec. 8, 2010, at approximately 2:30 p.m., plaintiff Jose Paz, 40, a security guard, was stopped in a left turn lane on Getty Center Drive in Los Angeles when he was broadsided on the driver side by a vehicle operated by Robert Searles, who was attempting a right turn. Paz claimed to his head, face, neck, back, and left shoulder. Paz sued Robert Searles and the registered owner of the vehicle, Arda Searles. Paz alleged that Robert Searles was negligent in the operation of his vehicle and that Arda Searles was vicariously liable for Robert Searles’ actions. Paz claimed that at the accident scene, Robert Searles apologized and admitted fault. Thus, Robert Searles admitted liability for the accident, and the matter proceeded to a trial on causation and damages. (Arda Searles was dismissed for a waiver of costs prior to submitting the case to the jury.), On the day of the accident, Paz complained of pain to the left side of his face. He subsequently sought treatment with various physicians through workers’ compensation. He was ultimately examined and diagnosed with a neck sprain and a left shoulder contusion. He also later developed lower back pain. In March 2011, Paz was referred to an orthopedic surgeon and diagnosed with an impingement of his left shoulder. He continued treating his shoulder without surgery and received two cortisone injections in June 2011. He also eventually returned to work in November 2011. However, Paz presented to his orthopedic surgeon in January 2012 with ongoing and persistent left shoulder pain. As a result, the plaintiff’s treating orthopedic surgeon recommended arthroscopic surgery to remedy the impingement syndrome in Paz’s left shoulder, and Paz underwent the surgery in July 2012. Paz claimed he made a good recovery from the procedure and received post-surgical physical therapy. He last treated with a health care provider in November 2012. However, Paz alleged that while he healed well from the accident/shoulder surgery, his left shoulder is not as strong as it was pre-accident. Thus, Paz sought recovery of $37,134.37 in past medical costs and $21,999.95 in past lost earnings. He also sought recovery of damages for his pain and suffering. Defense counsel disputed the nature and extent of Paz’s alleged and damages. Counsel argued that the shoulder injury was not as severe as Paz alleged, that Paz overtreated his injury and that Paz made an excellent recovery.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles, CA

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