Case details

Defense argued evidence did not prove driver ran stop sign





Result type

Not present

bulging disc, cervical, neck
On Sept. 1, 2010, plaintiff Sassa Minnegren, 40, an esthetician, was driving on eastbound Broadway, in Santa Monica. As she entered the intersection with 10th Street, Minnegren collided with the front, passenger-side door of a vehicle traveling southbound on 10th Street. Minnegren claimed she suffered a neck injury in the crash. Minnegren sued the operator of the other vehicle, Joshua Nozar, and the owner of Joshua Nozar’s vehicle, Fardad Nozar. Minnegren alleged that Joshua Nozar was negligent in the operation of his vehicle and that Fardad Nozar was liable for Joshua Nozar’s actions. Fardad Nozar, the vehicle’s owner, was ultimately dismissed before trial. Minnegren claimed that Joshua Nozar caused the collision by deliberately ignoring a stop sign before entering the intersection. Plaintiff’s counsel called two non-party witnesses to testify, one of which testified that Nozar appeared to come to a rolling stop and the other testified that Nozar ignored the stop sign. The police officer who responded to the accident also testified that, based on witness interviews, she determined that Nozar failed to yield to the stop sign. Joshua Nozar claimed that he yielded to the stop sign for five seconds, looked for oncoming traffic and then entered the intersection believing he had a reasonable amount of time to cross. He also maintained that he was traveling at a speed of approximately 20 mph. Defense counsel argued that there was no substantive evidence showing that Nozar ran the stop sign. Counsel also argued that the responding officer failed to conduct an independent investigation of the accident., Minnegren began to complain of neck pain after the accident and subsequently visited Marina Del Ray Hospital later that day, where she was treated and released. Her attorney then referred her to a chiropractor at Grace Chiropractic Clinic. Minnegren ultimately underwent a three-month course of treatment, which included massage, heat and cold therapy, and stretching. A subsequent cervical MRI study revealed a bulge of her C5-6 intervertebral disc. As a result, Minnegren was administered epidural injections of steroid-based painkillers at Sharp Treatment of South Bay, in Torrance. During a consult with her treating neurosurgeon, a cervical discectomy was recommended. However, Minnegren had not undergone the procedure by the time of trial. Minnegren claimed that she continues to suffer chronic neck pain, which caused her to stop working one year after the accident. She also claimed that she is unable to perform household chores. Thus, Minnegren sought recovery of $1.1 million in total damages, including recovery of past and future medical expenses and recovery of damages for her past and future pain and suffering. Defense counsel noted that Minnegren’s boyfriend testified that he had been on several vacations with his girlfriend following the accident. Counsel argued that the boyfriend’s testimony demonstrated the minimal impact Minnegren’s alleged injury had on her quality of life.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles, CA

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