Case details

Collision from improper turn caused lumbar injury: plaintiff





Result type

Not present

back, herniated disc, lower back
On Sept. 13 2008, plaintiff Lillie Moore, 29, a restaurant hostess/server, was a front-seat passenger in a vehicle driving in the right lane on J Street in Sacramento. At approximately 1 p.m., Moore’s vehicle stopped for a red light at the intersection with 29th Street, alongside a vehicle operated by Richard Mercer, who was stopped in the middle lane. When the light turned green, Mercer attempted to turn right from the middle lane onto 29th Street, and struck Moore’s vehicle in the intersection. Moore claimed to her neck, lower back and right shoulder. Moore sued Mr. Mercer and owner of his vehicle, Dina Mercer. Moore alleged that Mr. Mercer was negligent in the operation of his vehicle and that Ms. Mercer was vicariously liable for his actions. Specifically, he contended that Mercer made a negligent right-turn maneuver from the middle lane, causing the accident. Mercer admitted liability for the accident, and the matter proceeded to a trial on causation and damages., Moore claimed she started experiencing pain in her neck, lower back and right shoulder shortly after the accident. As a result, she treated with a rehabilitation specialist two days later. She was then referred to physical therapy and also treated with chiropractic care. In December 2008, Moore underwent an MRI, which revealed a herniated lumbar disc at L5-S1, and was referred to an orthopedic surgeon. She then continued to treat with physical and aquatic therapy, and ultimately underwent disc replacement surgery at L5-S1 in February 2012. Moore claimed that she experienced a good result from her surgery, but that she still experiences some lower back pain. She alleged that as a result, she will require additional treatment for her lower back. Thus, Moore claimed $191,000 in past medical costs and $45,000 in future medical costs. She also sought recovery of additional damages for her past and future pain and suffering. Defense counsel contended that Moore was not injured in the subject accident, as she made no injury complaints at the scene and did not go to an emergency room. Thus, counsel argued that Moore’s lower back injury was unrelated to the accident.
Superior Court of Sacramento County, Sacramento, CA

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