Case details

Defense questioned alleged contact between vehicles





Result type

Not present

lower back, neck
On June 13, 2013, plaintiff Ella Collins, a retired 58 year old, was driving in Lakewood when her vehicle was rear-ended by a semi-truck operated by Teresa Herrera at the intersection of Graywood Avenue and Candlewood Street. Collins claimed to her neck and lower back. Collins sued Herrera and Herrera’s employer, the owner of the truck, CMAC Transport LLC. Collins alleged that Herrera was negligent in the operation of the semi-truck and that CMAC Transport was vicariously liable for Herrera’s actions. Defense counsel questioned whether there was any contact between Collins’ vehicle and Herrera’s truck. Counsel pointed to the minimal damage to Collins’ vehicle to bolster their contention that there was no contact., Collins claimed that the subject accident aggravated her prior lower back and neck , which were pre-existing since 1999. She subsequently had a friend take her to a hospital after following her home from the accident scene. The plaintiff’s expert orthopedic surgeon opined that Collins’ prior were exacerbated due to the subject collision. Collins contended that the exacerbation severely limited her daily activities. Thus, plaintiff’s counsel asked the jury to award $80,000 in damages for Collins’ medical costs and pain and suffering. Defense counsel denied that there was any contact between the vehicles, but contended that if they did collide, it was low-speed. Counsel also noted the minimal damage to Collins’ vehicle. The defense’s biomechanical expert opined that if there was contact between the vehicles, it was likely it could have caused a strain to Collins’ neck.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles, CA

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