Case details

Defense argued plaintiff’s injury claims lacked credibility





Result type

Not present

back, bulging disc, lumbar
On July 14, 2011, plaintiff Glen Sanchez, 51, a supervisor at an equipment rental company, was operating his work truck on the westbound Interstate 10 portion of the San Bernardino Freeway, near West Covina Parkway in West Covina, when his truck was rear-ended by a work truck operated by Trevor Maxwell. The impact sent Sanchez’s vehicle into the front of another vehicle. California Highway Patrol investigated the incident and both vehicles were noted to have sustained moderate damage. No were reported, but Sanchez later claimed he suffered back from the accident. Sanchez sued Trevor Maxwell; the owner of Trevor Maxwell’s truck, Randy Maxwell; and Trevor Maxwell’s employer, Maxwell Backhoe Inc. Sanchez alleged that Trevor Maxwell was negligent in the operation of the truck and that Randy Maxwell and Maxwell Backhoe were vicariously liable for Trevor Maxwell’s actions. The defendants conceded liability., Sanchez did not report any at the scene and went to work after the accident. However, he later presented to his workers’ compensation clinic with complaints of lower back pain. Sanchez claimed he sustained a 2-millimeter disc protrusion at the L4-5 level. His treatment over the next few months included three different sessions of physical therapy, chiropractic treatment, three epidural injections, multiple MRIs, and diagnostic testing. Sanchez claimed he is in pain all of the time and could no longer do most of his normal activities. Specifically, he claimed he can no longer play baseball with his younger son, nor can he pick up or handle his grandchildren. Sanchez claimed that according to his expert orthopedic surgeon, he will require a lumbar fusion surgery. Sanchez sought recovery for his past and future medical costs. He also sought recovery of damages for his past and future pain and suffering. Sanchez withdrew his wage loss claim to avoid having to go into the issue of why he left his job (which was not allowed into evidence by the court). The defense’s expert orthopedic surgeon opined that Sanchez’s alleged dis protrusion could be seen in any person Sanchez’s age. Defense counsel argued that Sanchez was not credible, as Sanchez had many untrue claims. Specifically, counsel contended that Sanchez claimed he complained of at the scene to the CHP officer, but the officer denied Sanchez made any such complaints. Counsel also contended that Sanchez lied about prior accidents, was evasive about a motorcycle accident, and claimed he could not have his wife on the back of his motorcycle, even though it was later discovered Sanchez had a one-seater motorcycle. Defense counsel also questioned why Sanchez would go from a non-physical job to a backhoe operator if he was truly injured. Counsel contended that this backhoe operator position would have caused Sanchez pain. In addition, Sanchez’s neighbors claimed that Sanchez was still out riding motorcycles after the incident. Thus, defense counsel argued that this litigation and Sanchez’s medical treatment were attorney-directed.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Chatsworth, CA

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