Case details

Lane change accident caused shoulder and spine injuries: suit





Result type

Not present

back, depression, head, headaches, kyphosis, mental, neck, psychological, right shoulder, shoulder
On Feb. 25, 2011, at approximately 3:05 p.m., plaintiff Wendy Waddell, 33, a photographer, was driving in the far right lane on northbound State Route 73 in Irvine when she was involved in a collision with a vehicle operated by Noah Fry, who entered the right lane from Waddell’s left side. Waddell primarily claimed to her neck, back, and right shoulder. Waddell sued Noah Fry and the owner of Noah Fry’s vehicle, Eric Fry, the father of Noah Fry. Waddell alleged that Noah Fry was negligent in the operation of his vehicle and that Eric Fry was vicariously liable for his son’s actions. Waddell contended that Noah Fry was initially traveling in the far left lane of northbound SR-73, when he attempted to cross three lanes of traffic in an effort to exit the freeway at the approaching Newport Coast Drive exit. She claimed that as a result, Noah Fry crossed directly into her path of travel, causing her to swerve while attempting to avoid Noah Fry’s vehicle and collide with his vehicle. The Frys conceded full liability for the accident, and the matter proceeded to a trial on causation and damages., On the day after the accident, Waddell sought treatment at Kaiser Permanente Orange County – Irvine Medical Center, in Irvine. She was diagnosed with a torn labrum and subacromial impingement of her right shoulder. Waddell claimed she also suffered soft-tissue strains and sprains of her neck and back, and muscle spasms. She further claimed tension and post-traumatic headaches associated with her . Waddell subsequently received physical therapy from March 2011 through February 2012, as well as several months of chiropractic care. She also received cortisone injections for her right shoulder on May 15, 2012. Waddell later underwent right shoulder surgery on March 13, 2013. The surgery consisted of an evaluation, arthroscopy, labral repair, subacromial decompression, and debridement of the rotator cuff. Waddell claimed she now suffers from cervical kyphosis, or an abnormal curve of her spine. She alleged that as a result, she suffers sleepless nights due to ongoing pain in her neck, back, and right shoulder. She also alleged that for several months, her condition inhibited her daily activities, including exercise routines, grocery shopping, bicycle riding, cooking and cleaning. Waddell further alleged that her condition made it difficult to leave her home and engage in social activities and that she lost touch with her sister, Debra, who worried that she would have a relapse of her prior post-traumatic stress disorder. Waddell claimed she was scheduled to work a wedding in March 26, 2011, but she had to cancel it due to her and lost out on $1,995 in compensation. She also claimed she was scheduled to work as an assistant photographer for three other weddings, all of which she could not perform due to her and treatment. In addition, Waddell claimed her inability to shoot as many photographs, which is her greatest passion, caused her bouts of depression throughout her recovery. Thus, Waddell sought recovery of $7,200 in past medical costs and roughly $11,000 to $12,000 in lost earnings. She also sought recovery of $25,000 in damages for her pain and suffering. Defense counsel argued that Waddell’s shoulder injury and surgery were not related to the subject accident, as she underwent the surgery over two years after the accident. He argued that the shoulder injury was pre-existing and related to recreational activities, such as softball, photography and swimming. Defense counsel also argued that Waddell’s alleged neck and back were minor, as Waddell only received chiropractic treatment. Counsel further argued that Waddell can still work as a photographer, albeit with some difficulty.
Superior Court of Orange County, Santa Ana, CA

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