Case details

Low velocity impact could not have caused injuries: defense





Result type

Not present

back, cervical, lumbosacral myalgia, lumbosacral sprains, myofascitis, myospasms, neck, post-traumatic, post-traumatic cervical, soft-tissue injuries, strains resulting in subacute, subacute, thoracic
On Sept. 9, 2012, plaintiff Noble Essence, 35, a nursing assistant, was a passenger in a vehicle that was proceeding eastbound toward the intersection of Bancroft Avenue and 73rd Avenue, in Oakland, when her vehicle stopped at a red light behind another vehicle. Her vehicle was then rear-ended by a vehicle operated by Hugh Webster. Essence claimed to her back and neck. Essence sued Hugh Webster and the owner of Mr. Webster’s vehicle, Joanne Webster. Essence alleged that Mr. Webster was negligent in the operation of his vehicle and that Ms. Webster was vicariously liable for Mr. Webster’s actions. Essence claimed that the driver of her vehicle stopped at a red light behind another vehicle and then inched up a few feet, before stopping again. She claimed that one her vehicle stopped a second time, it was rear-ended by Mr. Webster’s vehicle. Thus, she claimed that Mr. Webster failed to keep a proper lookout. Defense counsel asserted that the driver of Essence’s vehicle had to stop suddenly for cars making a left turn against the light. Counsel contended that as a result, Mr. Webster, who was traveling immediately behind Garrison’s vehicle, braked immediately, but could not avoid the rear-end collision., Essence claimed that she sustained soft tissue to her back and neck, including subacute, post-traumatic, cervical, thoracic, and lumbosacral sprains and strains resulting in subacute, post-traumatic cervical, thoracic, and lumbosacral myalgia, myofascitis, and myospasms. She also claimed her caused brachial neuritis and radiculitis pain to both shoulders. The driver of her vehicle subsequently took Essence to the emergency room of San Leandro Hospital, in San Leandro, where Essence complained of back and neck pain. Over a month after the collision, Essence began two months of chiropractic care. However, she claimed that she continues to have residual pain from her . Thus, Essence sought recovery of past and future medical costs. She also sought recovery of damages for her past and future pain and suffering. Defense counsel asserted that the collision involved a minor, low-velocity crash, in which there was no damage to either vehicle. Counsel contended that as a result of the low velocity, no one could have been injured in the collision. However, defense counsel argued that Essence was not wearing a seat belt at the time of impact and noted that the both the records from the emergency room and the chiropractor stated that Essence was not wearing a seat belt. In response, Essence claimed that the seat belt she was wearing was broken and therefore not securely fastened. However, defense counsel argued that Essence initially claimed that she was wearing a seat belt, but that during the trial, she testified that the seat belt was not operating.
Superior Court of Alameda County, Hayward, CA

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