Case details

Failure to maintain control of car caused crash, plaintiffs alleged





Result type

Not present

back, bulging disc, herniated disc, knee, lower back, lumbar, meniscus, tear neck
On Jan. 15, 2011, plaintiff Jose Antonio Murillo, a FedEx packer in his 20s, was driving a Chevy Blazer in the number three lane of the 101 Freeway with plaintiff Jeffrey Zamudio, also a FedEx packer in his 20s, seated in the front seat. As they were near Reseda Boulevard in Reseda, Chandler Christa Garrett, a 17-year-old high school student who was driving her mother’s 400 series BMW, attempted to change from the number five lane to the number three lane, resulting in a collision with the right, front passenger door of Murillo’s vehicle. Both vehicles subsequently spun around and once again collided with each other. Murillo sustained to his to his lower back, shoulders and neck, while Zamudio sustained to his back, neck, shoulders and right knee. Murillo and Zamudio sued Garrett and the owner of Garrett’s vehicle, Garrett’s mother, Nashwan Bacon. Murillo and Zamudio alleged that Garrett was negligent in the operation of the BMW and that Bacon was vicariously liable for her daughter’s action. Garrett claimed a plank of wood came out of nowhere and struck her windshield, which caused her to lose control of her vehicle. She alleged that at the time, she was 17 and an inexperienced driver, so she overcompensated the steering and struck the right shoulder divider of the freeway. She claimed that she then overcompensated again, causing her vehicle to pull back onto the roadway and move to the left. Garrett further claimed her vehicle seemed to have a mind of its own, causing her to lose control and be unable to straighten her vehicle out. Thus, defense counsel contended that the accident was an act of nature that could not be prevented by humans. In response, plaintiff’s counsel noted that there was no sign of breakage or shattered glass to the front windshield of Garrett’s vehicle., Murillo and Zamudio were both taken to a hospital after the collision. Murillo sustained soft-tissue to his shoulders, lower back and neck. Specifically, he suffered lumbar disc bulges at the L3-4 and L4-5 levels with ventral narrowing of the thecal sac. He subsequently underwent MRIs, physical therapy and chiropractic treatment for about six months. Eventually, Murillo had a series of three epidural injections in his lower back. Zamudio claimed that after the first impact, his right knee struck the interior of his car, causing a torn meniscus of his right knee. He also sustained soft-tissue back, neck and both shoulder . Specifically, Zamudio sustained Schmorl’s nodes, or herniations of the intervertebral disc through the vertebral end-plate, at the L1-2 and L2-3 levels. He subsequently underwent MRIs, physical therapy and chiropractic treatment for almost two years. Zamudio also underwent a right knee surgery over a year later with about four more months of therapy thereafter.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Van Nuys, CA

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