Case details

Defense: Driver attempted to squeeze past tractor-trailer





Result type

Not present

back, injury, neck, rotator cuff, shoulder, tear
On Oct. 23, 2015, plaintiffs Trinidad Munoz, 66, a retiree, was driving on Valley Boulevard, in El Monte, with his wife, Maria Munoz, 65, a retiree, as a front seat passenger. As they entered an intersection, their vehicle was struck by a turning tractor-trailer operated by Jose Rodrigues and pushed into a light pole. Mr. Munoz claimed neck and back pain. Ms. Munoz claimed to her chest, back, neck and right shoulder. The Munozes sued Rodrigues and Rodrigues’ employer, Pearson Sales Co. The Munozes alleged that Rodrigues was negligent in the operation of his vehicle and that Pearson Sales was vicariously liable for Rodrigues’ actions while acting in the course and scope of his employment. The Munozes claimed that they were in the right turn lane when Rodrigues’ tractor-trailer made a sudden change from going straight to making a right turn. They claimed that as a result, the truck impacted their vehicle and dragged them up the curb and into a light pole. Defense counsel contended that Rodrigues was in the far right lane, set up with his turn signal on, ready to make a wide right turn, which was necessary based upon the size of the tractor-trailer, as Rodrigues approached the intersection. Counsel also contended that there was no right turn lane and that an independent witness testified that he saw Mr. Munoz ignore the truck’s turn-signal and attempt to squeeze by the truck on the right side, as the truck was making its turn., The Munozes claimed that they sustained damage to their vehicle. Mr. Munoz claimed he suffered from pain to his neck and back as a result of the accident, but that his condition resolved. Ms. Munoz sustained a rotator cuff tear to her right shoulder. She was taken from the scene by ambulance and she ultimately treated with a chiropractor. Ms. Munoz claimed she will eventually require surgery to treat her shoulder. The Munozes sought recovery for the damage to their vehicle. Mr. Munoz also sought recovery of past medical costs, and damages for his past pain and suffering. In addition, Ms. Munoz sought recovery of past and future medical costs, and damages for her past and future pain and suffering.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Pomona, CA

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