Case details

High-speed rear-ender caused head and neck injuries: plaintiff




Mediated Settlement

Result type

Not present

amnesia, back, brain, brain injury, bulging disc, cervical, cervical disc injury, cognition, head, headaches, impairment, lumbar, mental, neck, psychological, sprain, traumatic brain injury
On April 9, 2009, at 3 p.m., plaintiff Antonio Sanchez, 46, an industrial painter, was driving his 1988 Toyota Corolla on eastbound State Route 120, west of Spreckles Road in Manteca, when his vehicle was struck by a Ford F-550 operated by Raul Vega Maldonado Jr. As a result, Sanchez’s vehicle was propelled off of the highway and came to rest on its roof top at the bottom of a culvert. He sustained a head injury and lost consciousness at the scene. He also claimed to his neck and left shoulder, as well as sustained multiple abrasions. Sanchez sued Maldonado and the owners of the truck, Maldonado’s employers, Aqua Pool & Spa Inc. and Aqua Guardian. Sanchez alleged that Maldonado was negligent in the operation of the truck, and that Aqua Pool & Spa and Aqua Guardian were vicariously liable for their employee’s actions. The matter proceeded to mediation. Sanchez claimed that Maldonado was traveling at a high rate of speed, causing the truck to suddenly rear-end his car. Maldonado claimed that Sanchez made a sudden stop and swerved to the right, causing the rear-end collision. However, Sanchez denied Maldonado’s contentions., Sanchez sustained blunt force trauma to his head, causing him to lose consciousness at the scene. He was subsequently transported by paramedics to Doctors Medical Center in Modesto, where he was diagnosed with a concussion and left frontoparietal cephalhematoma, or a hemorrhage of blood between the skull and the periosteum. The emergency room physician also diagnosed Sanchez with cervical disc protrusions at C4-5 and C5-6, a lumbar sprain, a left shoulder contusion and multiple abrasions. As a result, he received treatment for his and followed up with physical therapy and steroid injections. Sanchez claimed that he suffered from post-traumatic amnesia, post-traumatic headaches, and cognitive dysfunction with some concentration and memory difficulties as a result of his head injury. He also claimed he was left with cervicalgia, or residual neck pain, as a result of his cervical . In addition, he claimed he had to miss time from work due to his . As a result, Sanchez alleged that he planned to have a three-level cervical fusion. Thus, Sanchez claimed that he incurred approximately $67,000 in medical expenses for the hospital, paramedics, neuropsychological evaluation, neurological assessment, physical therapy, steroid injections, diagnostic studies and orthopedic evaluations. He also claimed approximately $60,000 in lost earnings. He ultimately withdrew his future-loss-of-earnings claim prior to mediation. In addition, Sanchez’s wife, Audelia Sanchez, sought recovery of damages for her loss of consortium. Defense counsel disputed the extent of Mr. Sanchez’s head and neck . Counsel essentially asserted that Mr. Sanchez did not sustain a traumatic brain injury, and that the plaintiff’s cervical injury was degenerative in nature and nothing more than an exacerbation of a pre-existing condition. In addition, defense counsel contended that Mr. Sanchez’s medical costs based on Howell/Hanif amounted to approximately $15,000 and that his past loss of earnings amounted to $7,168.
Superior Court of San Joaquin County, San Joaquin, CA

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