Case details

Defense claimed passenger’s injuries not related to crash





Result type

Not present

back, fusion, herniated disc, lumbar
On Feb. 13, 2009, plaintiff Manuk Arakelian, 20, was a passenger in a vehicle operated by his friend, Artem Arakelyan, traveling west on Broadway in Glendale. At approximately 5 p.m., while crossing the intersection of Orange Street, the right front end of their car struck the right, rear quarter panel of a vehicle operated by Aregnazan Tufenkchian, who was attempting a left turn from Broadway onto northbound Orange Street. Arakelian claimed to his neck and back from the accident. Manuk Arakelian sued Artem Arakelyan and Aregnazan Tufenkchian, as well as the owner of the other vehicle, Jack Tufenkchian. He alleged that Arakelyan and Mrs. Tufenkchian were negligent in the operation of their respective vehicles, and that Mr. Tufenkchian was vicariously liable for his wife’s actions. Arakelian claimed that the vehicle he was in, driven by Arakelyan, was traveling straight while Mrs. Tufenkchian was turning left at the time of the accident. Thus, he claimed that Mrs. Tufenkchian failed to yield to oncoming traffic, since both vehicles had green lights at the subject intersection. Arakelian did not make specific allegations against Arakelyan at trial. Mrs. Tufenkchian claimed that she had the right of way and that Arakelyan caused the accident by speeding through the intersection. She alleged that she stopped and waited for any oncoming traffic at the intersection before attempting her turn and that she was the first vehicle at the intersection, giving her the right of way., Four days after the accident, Arakelian went to a chiropractor with complaints of neck and back pain. He treated for roughly five months and then underwent an MRI of his lower back that allegedly revealed a herniated lumbar disc at the L5-S1 level. Arakelian further treated with physical therapy and on Aug. 20, 2010, underwent fusion surgery at L5-S1. Arakelian claimed residual lower back pain, which restricts him in all physical activity. He alleged that his injury will affect his professional career and that he will eventually require two additional surgeries. Thus, Arakelian sought recovery of roughly $2.2 million in total damages, including $200,000 for past medical costs, $400,000 for future lifetime medical costs, $60,000 for future loss of earning capacity, and an unspecified amount for his past and future pain and suffering. The Tufenkchians’ counsel contended that Arakelian’s alleged were not related to the subject accident since the forces of impact were insufficient to cause a serious injury. Counsel further contended that any orthopedic alleged by the plaintiff were pre-existing and caused by at least four prior motor vehicle accidents.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Burbank, CA

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