Case details

Multiple crashes resulted in neck and shoulder injuries: plaintiff





Result type

Not present

neck, neck. pain, rotator cuff tear right shoulder, sprains, strains
On April 26, 2012, plaintiff Debra Bleemer, a chiropractor in her 50s, was stopped in traffic on Broadway Street, near its intersection with Montgomery Street, in San Francisco, when her vehicle was rear-ended by a vehicle operated by John Pinney. A little over a year later, on Aug. 22, 2013, Bleemer was stopped at a red light on Geary Boulevard, at the intersection with Park Presidio Boulevard, in San Francisco, when her vehicle was rear-ended by a vehicle operated by James Westover. Approximately five months later, on Jan. 15, 2014, Bleemer she was again involved in a collision. This time, her vehicle collided with a vehicle operated by Steve Lum. Bleemer alleged that Lum made an illegal left turn in front of her, causing the collision. Bleemer claimed indivisible , primarily to her shoulders. Bleemer sued Pinney; the owner of Pinney’s vehicle, Richard Clements; the employer of both Pinney and Clements, International Solutions Network, Consulting Company LLC; Westover; and Lum. Bleemer alleged that Pinney, Westover and Lum were negligent in the operation of their respective vehicles during the three separate, low-speed motor vehicle accidents. Bleemer also alleged that Clements and International Solutions were vicariously liable for Pinney’s actions. Pinney, Clements and International Solutions admitted liability for the 2012 crash. Westover admitted to the rear-end impact during the 2013 incident. Lum denied liability for the 2014 collision., Bleemer claimed that she suffered sprains and strains to her neck and a torn rotator cuff in her left shoulderduring the 2012 accident with Pinney’s vehicle. However, her shoulder injury wasn’t diagnosed until four months after the accident. She ultimately underwent surgical repair of the left rotator cuff in May 2016. Bleemer also claimed to her neck and a rotator cuff tear of the right shoulder as a result of the accident with Westover in 2013. Bleemer claimed the impact caused a re-tear of her right shoulder’s rotator cuff (which was injured in a prior accident), an aggravation of her neck pain, and sprains and strains. She subsequently underwent surgical repair of the right rotator cuff in November 2013. Bleemer claimed that she re-injured her right rotator cuff in the 2014 accident, as she had not yet fully recovered from the rotator cuff surgery in November 2013. She also claimed that the collision with Lum aggravated her neck pain and sprains/strains. Bleemer received regular chiropractic treatment before and after each accident. She received treatment from two chiropractors and also an orthopedic surgeon. Bleemer was the sole owner and operator of a small chiropractic office. She alleged that as a result of her , she was forced to retrain in a new, less-forceful chiropractic technique and was unable to provide the same services to her patients. She claimed the accidents, together, caused her and damages, including lost wages and loss of earning capacity, past and future medical treatment, and general damages for her past and future pain and suffering. Defense counsel for Pinney, Clements and International Solutions disputed the nature and extent of Bleemer’s . Counsel noted that Bleemer had been the victim of three other motor vehicle accidents in the five years before the subject accidents and that Bleemer had been in multiple motor vehicle collisions throughout her life. Defense counsel also contended that Bleemer underwent a prior surgical repair of her right rotator cuff in 2009, following one of the prior accidents. Counsel further contended that Bleemer had also previously undergone knee and foot surgeries. In addition, counsel contended that Bleemer had degenerative changes in her neck that predated the subject accidents and that Bleemer regularly received chiropractic treatment prior to the subject accidents. Thus, defense counsel asserted that due to Bleemer’s age and profession, prior motor vehicle accidents, prior rotator cuff repair to the right shoulder, and the speed of impact, Bleemer’s rotator cuff and other alleged were not caused by the subject accidents. Defense counsel further asserted that the lack of income loss to Bleemer’s chiropractic business meant that Bleemer suffered no wage losses as a result of the subject accidents. In addition, counsel asserted that any inability to continue with a forceful chiropractic technique and any required retraining was due to Bleemer’s age and other ongoing physical issues, regardless of the subject accidents.
Superior Court of San Francisco County, San Francisco, CA

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