Case details

Intoxicated driver caused rear-end accident, plaintiff claimed





Result type

Not present

bulging disc, cervical, disc protrusion, fusion, herniated disc, neck, neurological, radicular pain, radiculitis, whiplash
On Dec. 13, 2014, plaintiff Christina Caballero, 37, was driving north on Interstate 405, also known as the San Diego Freeway, in Seal Beach, when her rear-ended was rear-ended by a vehicle operated by Laura Ebersole. Caballero claimed to her neck. Caballero sued Laura Ebersole and the owner of Laura Ebersole’s vehicle, Hayley Ebersole. Caballero alleged that Laura Ebersole was negligent in the operation of her vehicle and that Hayley Ebersole was vicariously liable for Laura Ebersole’s actions. Plaintiff’s counsel contended that Laura Ebersole was driving while under the influence of alcohol and that due to her impaired condition, inattention and unsafe speed, Laura Ebersole failed to observe that Caballero’s car had come to a full and complete stop. Counsel also contended that after the impact, Laura Ebersole tried to flee the scene, but was later caught by Caballero and her passenger, and then arrested by law enforcement for driving under the influence a second time., Caballero claimed she sustained a cervical disc bulge at the C5-6 level. She sought emergency care at Torrance Memorial Urgent Care, in Torrance, the day after the crash, and she was diagnosed with cervical whiplash and radicular pain into her right arm. On Feb. 5, 2015, Caballero began physical therapy and was determined to have limited neck mobility due to her cervical whiplash injury. On Feb. 16, 2015, she underwent a right transforaminal epidural injection at C6-7 under fluoroscopy because of radiculopathy in the right upper extremity and a cervical disc herniation. She then underwent an MRI of her cervical spine without contrast on June 6, 2015. The MRI revealed right central disc protrusion at the C5-6 level, which indented the anterior border of the thecal sac without evidence of a cord compression; a small, right central disc protrusion at the C6-7 level without significant indentation of the thecal sac; and perineural cysts associated with the bilateral C6-7 and C7-T1 neural foramina. The reported right, paracentral C5-6 disc protrusion measured approximately 3 to 4 millimeters in AP dimension and approximately 8 millimeters at its base in transverse dimension. The reported right paracentral C6-7 disc protrusion measured approximately 2 millimeters in AP dimension and approximately 6 millimeters at its base in transverse dimension. On June 18, 2015, Caballero went to South Bay Pain Doctors, a medical group practice located in Torrance, for a pain management consultation. A physician recommended a cervical intralaminar epidural injection at the C7-T1 level. However, Caballero sought a second opinion for her continued neck pain on Aug. 25, 2015. At the time, she claimed her neck pain radiated down her right shoulder and into her arm and fingers. She also claimed that her pain was constant, sharp and an eight out of 10 on a pain scale. Based on Caballero’s complaints of radiculopathy of the right, upper extremity and a cervical disc herniation, the physician performed a right C6-7 transforaminal epidural injection under fluoroscopy on Dec.16, 2015. The physician then performed a C7-T1 interlaminar epidural steroid injection under fluoroscopy on March 16, 2016 because of Caballero’s cervical radiculitis and cervical disc herniation. On May 10, 2016, Caballero went to the physician for a follow-up visit and reported that her neck pain radiated into her right thumb for several days every other week. Based on the complaint, the physician ordered an updated MRI of Caballero’s cervical spine and then recommended that she consult with two other physicians. On July 8, 2016, Caballero went to the Institute of Brain and Spine Surgery, in Torrance, with complaints of neck and right arm pain. One of the recommended physician’s impressions, based on the MRI of the cervical spine, was that the C5-6 disc was ruptured. Due to the severity of the pain and weakness of the right arm, Caballero was recommended to proceed with surgery. She then returned to the Institute of Brain and Spine Surgery on Nov. 3, 2016, and the other recommended physician diagnosed her with persistent radiculopathy of the right cervical spine. Caballero was then recommended for a C5-6 anterior cervical discectomy and fusion on Oct. 13, 2017. On Dec. 4, 2017, Caballero went to Torrance Memorial Medical Center, in Torrance, for a pre-operation exam. One week later, she underwent a fusion and an anterior cervical discectomy at C5-6, wherein screws and hardware were installed into her neck. Caballero claimed that following the surgeries, she is left with neck stiffness. However, she claimed she will not require future care. Caballero sought recovery of $38,498.30 in past medical costs and an unspecified amount of damages for her pain and suffering.
Superior Court of Orange County, Orange, CA

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