Case details

Defense claimed plaintiff made unsafe turn, causing crash





Result type

Not present

derangement, glenoid labrum, shoulder, tear
On Dec. 3, 2013, plaintiff Melissa Hays, 29, a hairdresser, was attempting to make a right turn at the intersection of Calle de los Molinos and Avenue Pico, in San Clemente, alongside a semi-truck operated by Alma Renteria, who was also turning right. During the turn, the left front of Hays’ vehicle and the right side of the rear truck’s trailer collided. Hays claimed to her left shoulder, neck and back. Hays sued Renteria and Renteria’s employer, Robertson’s Transport Ltd. Hays alleged that Renteria was negligent in the operation of the truck and that Robertson’s Transport was vicariously liable for Renteria’s actions while in the course and scope of his employment. RRM Properties Ltd. was also initially named as a defendant, but it was ultimately dismissed from the case. Hays claimed Renteria caused the collision by making an unsafe right turn. Defense counsel argued that Hays unsafely attempted to pass the truck during the turn., Hays claimed that she suffered soft tissue to her neck and back, as well as a torn labrum with derangement of her left shoulder. She ultimately only required shoulder surgery. The plaintiff’s orthopedic surgery expert opined that accident caused Hays’ labrum tear and that the past medical charges were reasonable. The expert also opined that Hays may require future shoulder surgery. Hays sought recovery of $16,469 in past medical costs, inclusive of the surgery, and $32,000 in future medical costs. She also sought recovery of $2,037 in property damage and an unspecified amount of non-economic damages for her past and future pain and suffering. (Hays waived her claim for past and future loss of earnings.) Defense counsel disputed Hays’ alleged and the amount of damages sought. The defense’s orthopedic surgery expert testified that exams and an MRI of the left shoulder, plus perhaps six weeks of treatment, were reasonable, if Hays, indeed, had any sprain or strain or complaints about her left shoulder related to the accident. The expert also disagreed with the plaintiff’s orthopedic surgery expert’s call for a future shoulder surgery as caused by the accident.
Superior Court of Orange County, Orange, CA

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