Case details

Husband and wife claimed rear-end crash caused injuries





Result type

Not present

back, cervical, chondromalacia, chondromalacipatella, fusion, herniated disc, knee, knee derangement, lumbar, neck, sprain, strain, thoracic
On Aug. 25, 2014, plaintiff Azucena Garcia, 33, a waitress, was driving a car with her husband, plaintiff Jesus Garcia, 38, a cook at a restaurant, as a front seat passenger. Their three children — Christopher Garcia, Jesus G. Garcia and Anthony Garcia — were rear-seat passengers in the vehicle. As they were stopped for a red light on westbound Colima Road, at the intersection with Avalo Drive, in El Monte, their sedan was rear-ended by a box truck operated by Salvador Hernandez. Azucena Garcia claimed to her back and neck. The elder Jesus Garcia claimed to his knee, back and neck. Christopher sustained a scratch to his rib cage, while Jesus Jr. and Anthony were not injured. Mr. and Ms. Garcia, along with their three children, sued Hernandez and Hernandez’s employer, Louis Packaging Inc. The Garcias alleged that Hernandez was negligent in the operation of the box truck and that Louis Packaging was liable for Hernandez’s actions while in the course and scope of his employment. All three children settled out of the case pre-litigation. The defendants admitted liability and admitted that Hernandez was in the course and scope of his employment at the time of the accident., Plaintiffs’ counsel noted that the force of the impact caused the back window of Garcia vehicle to shatter as it was pushed into the middle of the intersection. Ms. and Mr. Garcia both sought emergency care at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, in Los Angeles, the day after the crash. Ms. Garcia claimed she sustained sprains and strains to her neck and back. She underwent imaging studies, and treated with chiropractic care, physical therapy and epidural injections. Her medical care lasted from Aug. 26, 2014 to June 8, 2016. Ms. Garcia alleged that she will require conservative care in the future. Ms. Garcia sought recovery of $50,921.86 in economic damages for her past medical expenses, $15,000 in economic damages for her future medical expenses, $150,000 in non-economic damages for her past pain and suffering, and $50,000 in non-economic damages for her past pain and suffering. Mr. Garcia claimed he sustained to his right knee, neck, and lower back. Specifically, he claimed he sustained a herniated lumbar disc at the L5-S1 level, a derangement of the right knee with chondromalacia, and sprains and strains to his cervical and thoracic spine. He underwent imaging studies and treated with chiropractic care and physical therapy. He also received an injection to his right knee, and epidural injections to the cervical, thoracic and lumbar levels of his spine. Mr. Garcia eventually underwent a lumbar interbody fusion at the L5-S1 level and a lumbar decompression at the L4-5 level. His medical care lasted from Aug. 26, 2014 to June 15, 2016. Mr. Garcia did not allege he will require any additional surgical intervention, but claimed he will need conservative care for the rest of his life. Mr. Garcia sought recovery of $221,124.07 in economic damages for his past medical expenses, $26,000 in economic damages for his future medical expenses, $1 million in non-economic damages for his past pain and suffering, and $1 million in non-economic damages for his future pain and suffering. Defense counsel denied that the motor vehicle accident on Aug. 25, 2014 caused the Garcias’ alleged damages. Counsel contended the Garcias were involved in a subsequent accident on April 1, 2015, five months before Mr. Garcia underwent the lumbar fusion and decompression. Defense counsel also disputed the reasonableness and necessity of both plaintiffs’ medical care, and the reasonable value of the plaintiffs’ medical care, based on any alleged injury they might have actually sustained on Aug. 25, 2014.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Long Beach, CA

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