Case details

Multiple vehicle crash caused orthopedic injuries: plaintiffs




Mediated Settlement

Result type

Not present

back, brachial plexus, necks, neurological, radicular pain, radiculitis
On May 10, 2012, plaintiff Astrid Donis, 47, a homemaker, was driving on Century Boulevard in Los Angeles, accompanied by her husband, plaintiff Oscar Donis, 48, a casino customer services representative, in the front passenger seat. At approximately 3 p.m., while stopped for a red light, the Donis vehicle was rear-ended by a private tour bus operated by Oscar Orozco, which caused a chain reaction collision involving two other vehicles. Mr. and Mrs. Donis both claimed orthopedic from the accident. Mr. and Mrs. Donis sued Orozco and DTG Operations Inc., Orozco’s employer and the owner of the bus. Mr. and Mrs. Donis alleged that Orozco was negligent in the operation of his vehicle and that DTG Operations was vicariously liable for Orozco’s actions through the course and scope of his employment with the company. Plaintiffs’ counsel asserted that Orozco was driving at an unreasonable rate of speed for the traffic conditions and was inattentive to the stopped traffic at the subject intersection. Counsel contended that the rear-end impact pushed the Donis vehicle into a third vehicle, which then rear-ended a fourth vehicle. Plaintiffs’ counsel further contended that the force of the crash broke both of the front car seats in the Donis vehicle, depriving Mr. and Mrs. Donis the protection such seats can afford to their necks and back. The defendants originally disputed how the chain-reaction collision was initiated. However, following a brief police investigation of the incident, Orozco admitted liability for the accident., On the day after the accident, Mr. and Mrs. Donis both treated with their local chiropractor. Mrs. Donis claimed pain in her neck and back, radiating down to her legs. She claimed that when conservative treatment with her chiropractor did not improve her condition, she was referred to an orthopedic surgeon, who referred her to a pain management specialist. She subsequently received two epidural injections to her L4-5 region, which she claimed improved the pain for two to three months. Mrs. Donis claimed that when she continued to experience moderate lumbar pain, she returned to her orthopedic surgeon, who recommended a third epidural injection. However, she claimed she did not receive the injection and was told she may be a candidate for lumbar surgery. She claimed she is currently limited in activities, such as gardening and playing with her children, and limited in church activities. Mrs. Donis has not yet undergone surgery, but she claimed her lower back condition is improving gradually. Thus, Mrs. Donis sought recovery of $56,400 in past medical costs. She also sought recovery of damages for her past and future pain and suffering. Mr. Donis claimed that after the accident, he suffered constant pain in his right shoulder and was referred to a neurosurgeon. He was subsequently diagnosed with a right brachial plexus injury, which required a surgical exploration. Mr. Donis missed approximately one week of work following the accident. However, he claimed the surgery was successful and he is now pain free. Thus, Mr. Donis sought recovery of $2,400 in past loss of earnings and $67,450 in past medical costs. He also sought recovery of damages for his past pain and suffering. Defense counsel disputed the nature and extent of the plaintiffs’ , claiming the plaintiffs suffered only minor soft-tissue that had resolved with no residual symptoms.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles, CA

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