Case details

Car crash’s parties both claimed right of way





Result type

Not present

anxiety, depression, insomnia, knee, knee contusion, mental, psychological
At approximately 5:50 p.m. on June 20, 2011, plaintiff Alma Monterroso, an unemployed 51 year old, was driving east on 34th Street in San Francisco when she was involved in a collision at the intersection with Adeline Street, which was controlled by a four-way stop. The rear passenger-side of her vehicle was struck head-on by a vehicle operated by Dennis Layne, who was traveling north on Adeline Street, causing Monterroso’s vehicle to spin 90 degrees. Monterroso claimed to her neck, back and right knee. Monterroso sued Layne. She alleged that Layne was negligent in the operation of his vehicle. The matter proceeded to an expedited jury trial. Monterroso claimed that she arrived first at the intersection and made a complete stop at the stop sign before proceeding into the intersection. However, she claimed that Layne approached the intersection second and failed to stop at the stop sign, causing the collision. Plaintiffs’ counsel presented a nearby store employee who witnessed the accident from the corner at the intersection. The eyewitness corroborated Monterroso’s account of the accident. Layne claimed that he was the first car to arrive at the intersection, and that it was Monterroso who failed to stop for the sign and caused the collision. The defendant’s son, who was a front-seat passenger during the accident, corroborated his father’s account of the accident., Monterroso went to a chiropractor the day after the accident with complaints of neck, back and right knee pain. She was diagnosed with soft-tissue strains and sprains to her cervical and lumbar spine, as well as a right knee contusion. Monterroso was also diagnosed with post-traumatic insomnia, fatigue, anxiety and depression. She followed up with two months of chiropractic care for her orthopedic . While her neck and back have resolved, Monterroso claimed that her knee pain is unresolved. She alleged that she will require physical therapy for her knee, and possibly an MRI to assess the severity of her injury. She alleged that as a result of her knee condition, her mobility has been affected, as she can no longer walk long distances, go running or play tennis. Thus, Monterroso claimed $2,850 in past medical costs and $1,800 in future medical costs. Plaintiffs’ counsel subsequently asked the jury to award $25,000 in total damages, which also included property damage, use of damaged property, Monterroso’s pain and suffering, and Monterroso’s husband’s loss of consortium claim. Defense counsel disputed the amount of Mrs. Monterroso’s medical treatment and argued that her current osteoarthritic knee condition was a new injury completely unrelated to the contusion she suffered from the accident.
Superior Court of Alameda County, Oakland, CA

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