Case details

Driver claimed ongoing spinal and calf pain from rear-ender





Result type

Not present

back, lower back, neck, stenosis
On June 28, 2009, plaintiff Gustavo Salgado, 43, a carpenter, was driving his vehicle in Fontana with his wife, plaintiff Julieta Salgado, and two minor children, plaintiffs Gustavo and Daniela Salgado, as passengers. Their vehicle was ultimately rear-ended by a vehicle operated by Susana Tostado. The Salgados all claimed they were injured in the accident. Mr. Salgado, Mrs. Salgado and their children, Gustavo and Daniela, sued Tostado, alleging the defendant was negligent in the operation of her vehicle. The matter was consolidated with another motor vehicle accident that Mr. Salgado was involved in two years. However, Mr. Salgado settled with those defendants prior to trial, and Mrs. Salgado and the children each settled with Tostado. Thus, the matter proceeded to trial with only Mr. Salgado’s claim against Tostado. Tostado conceded liability for the June 2009 accident., After the June 2009 accident, Mr. Salgado drove himself and his family to a hospital, where they were treated for . Mr. Salgado claimed he injured his lower back. He was diagnosed with disc disease at L4-5 and L5-S1 with arthropathy, and he also claimed left L4-5 foraminal stenosis. Mr. Salgado subsequently had several visits with Kaiser Permanente physicians for treatment after his initial presentation to a hospital. Three months later, he complained of pain in both his right and left leg, including burning and tingling sensations in the calf regions. He claimed his lumbar caused pain to radiate into both lower extremities and that the pain started shortly after the accident. As a result, Mr. Salgado treated with physical therapy and chiropractic care. After being involved in another motor vehicle accident two years later (which was the subject of the previously settled consolidated action), Mr. Salgado was prescribed painkillers and anti-inflammatories, before switching over to the over-the-counter versions of the two medications. Mr. Salgado claimed his job became more difficult as a result of his . He also claimed he is no longer able to do any chores at home or spend as much time with his kids as he used to. Thus, Mr. Salgado sought recovery of damages for his medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Defense counsel contended that there was a gap in treatment, as Mr. Salgado only sought treatment a couple of times in the first few weeks post-accident and then not again until three months later. Counsel argued that the later treatment was unnecessary and that, in general, Mr. Salgado’s pain was minor. In addition, defense counsel argued that only the first three treatments were related to the subject accident and that Mr. Salgado’s alleged calf were unrelated to the accident and were most likely caused by his profession.
Superior Court of San Bernardino County, San Bernardino, CA

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