Case details

Neck and back injuries caused by head-on collision: plaintiff





Result type

Not present

back, neck, sprains, strains
On July 10, 2014, plaintiff Elsa Echandi, 69, a restaurant owner, was driving in Los Angeles when her Toyota 4Runner sport utility vehicle was struck head-on by a Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation pickup truck operated by George Laszlo. Echandi claimed to her neck and back. Echandi sued Laszlo and Laszlo’s employer, the county of Los Angeles, which also owned the pickup truck. Echandi contended that Laszlo was negligent in the operation of the pickup truck and that the county was liable for Laszlo’s actions. Specifically, Echandi claimed that Laszlo ran a red light and caused the crash into the front of her vehicle. The defendants admitted liability., Echandi claimed she sustained strains and sprains to her neck and back. She subsequently went to an urgent care facility after the accident, and was treated and released. Echandi then began treating with a chiropractor and with physical therapy for approximately one year. She ultimately underwent an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion on Sept. 7, 2016. Echandi, who is Peruvian, owned a Costa Rican restaurant. However, she claimed that as a result of her , she can no longer be involved in the business by greeting customers or spend as much time playing with her grandchildren. The plaintiff’s expert orthopedic surgeon, who performed the discectomy and fusion, opined that Echandi’s were related to the subject accident. Echandi claimed that she will eventually require another surgery to treat her back and that the future surgery was also recommended by her treating orthopedic surgery expert. Thus, Echandi sought recovery of $4.2 million in total damages, which included recovery of past and future medical costs and damages for her past and future pain and suffering. Defense counsel disputed the nature and extent of Echandi’s and contended that Echandi had pre-existing neck and back issues prior to the subject accident. The defense’s expert orthopedic surgeon opined that Echandi’s and surgery were all related to her pre-existing condition. Thus, defense counsel recommended that the jury award Echandi $40,000 in total damages.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles, CA

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