Case details

Mother and son claimed injuries from intersection collision





Result type

Not present

back, loss of consortium shoulder, neck
On the afternoon of Aug. 22, 2009, plaintiff Bertha Hernandez, 40, a machine operator, was driving her 1990 Chevrolet Astrovan west on Marketplace Drive with her was her 16-year-old son, Jose Hernandez as a passenger. When she attempted to make a left turn onto southbound 10th Street, her Astrovan was struck by a 2003 Toyota Corolla driven by Darius Gardner. Both Hernandez and her son claimed multiple in the collision. Bertha and Jose Hernandez sued Darius Gardner and his father, who owned the vehicle, Frank Gardner. Hernandez and her son alleged that Darius Gardner was negligent in the operation of the motor vehicle and that Frank Gardner was vicariously liable for Darius Gardner’s actions. Bertha Hernandez claimed that Darius Gardner entered the intersection at 15 to 20 miles per hour, and that she did not see his vehicle entering the intersection. She also claimed to be driving her vehicle at approximately five to 10 mph. The plaintiff’s accident reconstruction expert opined that Hernandez was driving closer to 20 mph, while Darius Gardner was driving closer to 40 mph. The defendants admitted liability for the accident, contesting the case on the issue of and damages., Following the accident, Bertha Hernandez was transported to the emergency room at Lancaster Community Hospital, in Lancaster. She claimed pain to her neck, back, left hip, chest, left forearm, and left hand. Jose Hernandez made left hand and upper back complaints. Following the hospitalization, Bertha Hernandez began treating with a chiropractor, also following up with other physicians. On March 29, 2011, she underwent an arthroscopic procedure on her left shoulder and, on May 25, 2012, she underwent a left ulnar transposition. Plaintiffs’ counsel asked the jury to award $313,406.45 in damages for Bertha Hernandez’s loss of earnings, past medical costs, future medical costs, and loss of household services. Counsel also asked the jury to award Jose Hernandez a total of $12,000 in damages for his medical costs. In addition, Bertha Hernandez’s husband, Albino Hernandez, filed a derivative claim seeking recovery of $35,000 for his loss of consortium. Defense counsel contended that the claimed by Mrs. Hernandez were attributable to the repetitive use of her upper extremities in the course of her employment as a machine operator. The defense’s expert orthopedic surgeon testified that the claimed by Mrs. Hernandez were more consistent with repetitive use during the course of her employment as a machine operator, as opposed to being injured in the accident. However, according to plaintiffs’ counsel, the defense made this argument despite there being no medical records of Mrs. Hernandez having prior complaints.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Chatsworth, CA

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