Case details

Defense claimed minor impact could not have caused injuries





Result type

Not present

cervical disc injury, neck
On May 27, 2011, plaintiff Andy Medina, an unemployed man in his 60s, was driving a 2001 Nissan Centra on Stine Road in Bakersfield when his vehicle was rear-ended by a 2000 Chevy Silverado operated by Art Bermudez at the intersection with Harris Road. Medina claimed to his back and left dominant shoulder. Medina sued Bermudez, alleging that Bermudez was negligent in the operation of his vehicle. Medina claimed that he was stopped at a traffic light when Bermudez struck him. Bermudez claimed that he was slowing to stop for a red light on Stine Road when the light changed to green. He alleged that as a result, he accelerated, anticipating that Medina would as well, but when Medina’s vehicle didn’t move, the collision occurred. Thus, Bermudez conceded liability., Medina claimed minor cervical spine and a tear of the left, dominant rotator cuff. There were no reported at the time of the accident since Medina did not complain of at the scene and no police were present. However, two weeks later, Medina presented to his treating physician, after being referred to the doctor by his attorney, and was diagnosed with cervical and a torn rotator cuff. Medina subsequently treated his shoulder with nine sessions of physical therapy and then underwent a rotator cuff repair on Sept. 21, 2011. Medina claimed he still suffers daily pain and has some limited range of motion. As a result, he treats with over-the-counter pain medication. Medina also claimed that he was depressed and that he has not been able to hold down jobs, such as picking peaches, due to the limitations in his left arm. Defense counsel contended that the accident involved a minor impact, since it occurred when Bermudez was traveling at 2 mph. Thus, counsel argued that Medina’s were pre-existing and not a result of the subject accident. The defense’s accident reconstruction expert opined that the impact was so minor that it could not have caused any , whether the impact was at 2 mph or less. The defense’s orthopedic surgery expert opined that Medina’s were degenerative in nature due to a prior injury or Medina’s age.
Superior Court of Kern County, Kern, CA

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