Case details

Hairdresser claimed rear-end accident caused neck injuries





Result type

Not present

herniated disc, neck, neurological, radicular pain, radiculitis
On March 5, 2012, plaintiff Diann Zarate, a hairdresser in her 40s, was stopped for a red light on Sepulveda Boulevard, in Los Angeles. While her vehicle was stopped, it was rear-ended by a vehicle operated by Reyes Gamino. Zarate claimed to her neck. Zarate sued Reyes Gamino (who was initially erroneously sued as Reyes “Gormino”); Gamino’s employer, Elco Filtration/Testing Co.; and the company that later purchased Elco, Cameron West Coast Inc. The matter ultimately went to trial against Gamino and Cameron West Coast. The defendants conceded liability prior to trial., Zarate drove home from the accident and later, was taken by her husband to a physician. The next day Zarate underwent an X-ray, which revealed disc herniations at the C4-5, C5-6, and C6-7 levels. A later MRI confirmed the herniated cervical discs. As a result, Zarate saw a chiropractor and started physical therapy for about one year. Zarate claimed that her treatment provided some relief, but that her pain was only minimally reduced. Two X-rays showed that the curvature in her neck had changed. Zarate claimed that as a result, she has regular pain, which radiates into her arms and impacts her hands. She was subsequently recommended for surgery, but she has not had the procedure due to her fear of surgery. However, Zarate claimed that she does want to eventually undergo the surgery, but current treats her pain with over-the-counter medication. Zarate returned to work after the subject accident, but one year later, she was involved in another rear-end accident. However, Zarate claimed the impact was not as great as the subject accident. Defense counsel argued that something else must have caused Zarate’s neck . Counsel pointed to either the second accident or Zarate’s work as a hairdresser coupled with degenerative changes.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Santa Monica, CA

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