Case details

Defense questioned reasonableness of damages alleged





Result type

Not present

back, decreased range of motion, neck, soft tissue
On July 18, 2009, plaintiff Robert Santillanez, a laborer, was operating his vehicle with a friend, Jeanie Sanchez, seated in the front seat. As they entered the intersection of Curtis and Omar Streets in Fremont, their vehicle was broadsided by a vehicle operated by Xian Kang Yao. As a result, Santillanez claimed to his neck, back and right shoulder. Sanchez also claimed she was injured in the crash. Santillanez and Sanchez sued Yao, alleging that Yao was negligent in the operation of his vehicle. Yao conceded liability, and Sanchez ultimately settled with Yao prior to trial. Thus, the matter proceeded to trial with Santillanez’s damages claims against Yao only., On the day following the collision, Santillanez presented to Washington Hospital in Fremont with neck, back and right shoulder complaints. He then followed up at Washington Hospital approximately two weeks later due to his ongoing neck and back complaints. However, Santillanez claimed that he did not seek additional treatment thereafter because he was not insured and could not afford more treatment. Santillanez claimed that due to his shoulder injury, he was unable to raise his right arm and, therefore, was unable to affectively work as a laborer for West Coast Construction. He also claimed that he is no longer able to turn his neck or bend over, which severely limited his working capacity. In addition, Santillanez claimed that he suffered from range of motion limitations and restrictions due to pain in his neck, shoulder and back and that he could not lift or carry work-related materials. He alleged that, nevertheless, he attempted to return to work, but was sent home by his supervisor because he was unable to work effectively. Santillanez alleged that this continued to the point where he was terminated from his position at West Coast Construction. He further alleged that he continued to suffer ongoing complaints for approximately two months post-accident. Thus, Santillanez sought recovery of $1,900.59 for his medical expenses at the hospital and $8,000 in wage loss, as well as an unspecified amount of damages for his pain and suffering. Defense counsel disputed the reasonableness and necessity of Santillanez’s damages. Counsel further argued that Santillanez’s wage loss claim was excessive.
Superior Court of Alameda County, Hayward, CA

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