Case details

Defense claimed plaintiff’s pain not caused by collision





Result type

Not present

back, chest, lower back, neck
On Jan. 12, 2012, plaintiff Maria Gonzalez, an unemployed 41 year old, was driving west on 4th Street in Erwin Lake in Big Bear when she entered an uncontrolled intersection with Central Street and the passenger side of her vehicle was struck by the front end of a vehicle operated by Clyde Reed, who was traveling on southbound Central Street. The collision occurred in the center of the intersection. Gonzalez claimed to her chest, neck, and lower back. Plaintiff Elliott Cavicchi, who was also a passenger in Gonzalez’s vehicle, also claimed he was injured in the crash. Gonzalez and Cavicchi sued Reed, alleging the defendant was negligent in the operation of his vehicle. Cavicchi ultimately settled with Reed prior to trial. Thus, the matter proceeded to trail on Gonzalez’s claims against Reed only. Gonzalez claimed that she entered the intersection first and had the right of way, but that Reed was speeding and caused the collision. Reed claimed that he had the right of way at the intersection and that Gonzalez was speeding., After the collision, Gonzalez went to Bear Valley Community Hospital, where she was diagnosed with contusions to her breasts and pain in the chest area. She claimed she then went to Big Bear Rural Health Clinic for her breast pain and subsequently treated at a chiropractic and rehabilitation center from March 30, 2012, until June 2012. Gonzalez previously suffered from lower back pain in 2007 and injured her back in October 2011. Thus, she claimed the subject collision exacerbated her lower back pain, as well as suffered other lower back pain that started about a month after the accident. She also claimed that she had neck pain that started three weeks after the accident. Gonzalez further claimed that she had breast pain for months after the accident, but, as of the date of trial, her complaints had resolved. Thus, Gonzalez sought recovery of $4,087 in chiropractic costs, and an unspecified amount of damages for her past pain and suffering and for a rental car from the date of accident until April 19, 2012. Defense counsel contended that Gonzalez had chronic lower back pain and was on disability one month before the subject accident. Counsel also contended that Gonzalez’s additional lower back and neck complaints started much later after the accident. Thus, defense counsel argued that Gonzalez’s alleged pain was not caused by the subject accident.
Superior Court of San Bernardino County, San Bernardino, CA

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