Case details

Crash with speeding vehicle caused injuries, plaintiff claimed





Result type

Not present

acromioclavicular joint separation, back, neck, separation, shoulder
On Oct. 15, 2010, plaintiff Alexandro Venegas, 19, a college student, was driving north on Balboa Boulevard in Granada Hills, accompanied by his friend, plaintiff Andrew Mendoza, in the passenger seat. At approximately 6 p.m., Venegas attempted to make a left turn at the intersection with Rinaldi Street and collided with a vehicle operated by Gary Palmquist. Venegas claimed to his neck, back and right shoulder. Venegas sued Palmquist, alleging that the defendant was negligent in the operation of his vehicle. Mendoza also brought a suit against Palmquist, but ultimately settled his case early in the proceedings. Thus, the Venegas matter proceeded to binding arbitration against Palmquist. At arbitration, Venegas claimed that he was stopped in the left turning pocket at the subject intersection and that when the light turned red, he proceeded left onto westbound Rinaldi Street. However, he claimed that Palmquist was traveling above the speed limit and ran the red light on southbound Balboa Boulevard, causing the collision. An eyewitness who was traveling behind Venegas in the left turning lane corroborated the plaintiff’s account of the accident during his deposition. Palmquist disputed running a red light and claimed that he entered the intersection as he normally would. He also claimed that he was traveling below the speed limit and was unaware that Venegas was attempting a left turn onto Rinaldi Street at the time of the accident., Two days after the accident, Venegas went to his doctor with complaints of pain to his neck, back and right shoulder. He claimed he suffered significant soft-tissue strains and sprains of his neck and lower back, for which he treated with chiropractic care. Venegas was subsequently referred to an orthopedist and underwent an MRI of his right shoulder, which revealed an acromioclavicular joint separation. As a result, he underwent right shoulder surgery on June 19, 2012, and treated with five months of physical therapy. Venegas claimed he made a good recovery from his following the surgery. He also claimed that he lost no time from work and has been able to resume his usual lifestyle. Venegas claimed $44,626.94 in past medical costs and $14,900 in property damage to his vehicle. He also sought recovery of damages for his past pain and suffering. The defense’s expert orthopedic surgeon opined that Venegas only sustained modest soft-tissue , which should have resolved within six to 12 weeks of physical therapy. The expert further opined that the right shoulder separation was unrelated to the accident. In addition, defense counsel contended that Venegas’ property damage was only worth $8,084.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Chatsworth, CA

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