Case details

Passenger claimed driver’s speed caused accident





Result type

Not present

back, bulging disc, lumbar
On Sept. 2, 2010, at approximately 6:30 a.m., plaintiff Marcus Olguin, 25, an employee of the California Department of Transportation, was a passenger in a vehicle that was traveling on Interstate 210 when the vehicle’s driver, Everardo Gonzalez Jr., lost control and swerved from one lane to the other. As a result, the passenger side of the vehicle, where Olguin was sitting, was broadsided by a box truck, causing the Gonzalez/Olguin vehicle to ricochet across the freeway. Olguin claimed to his neck, lower back, and right arm/shoulder. Olguin sued Gonzalez. He alleged the defendant was negligent in the operation of his vehicle, causing the accident and subsequent . Olguin contended that Gonzalez was speeding and lost control of his vehicle when approaching traffic began to slow down. He claimed that when Gonzalez noticed the slowdown, he slammed on the brakes, causing the vehicle to swing into the adjacent lane, into the path of the box truck. Gonzalez did not make any claims regarding his alleged liability, but claimed that the driver of the box truck was not at fault., Olguin was taken by his wife to an emergency room, where he presented with complaints of neck and back pain, as well as contusion to his right, dominant arm/shoulder. Olguin followed up with an orthopedist and was diagnosed with bulging discs of his lumbar spine. He subsequently underwent two months of physical therapy and chiropractic care. He also treated his lower back injury with epidural injections. Olguin claimed that he is fully healed from his , with no need for future treatment. He also claimed he missed one week of work due to the accident, but did not make a claim for lost earnings. Thus, Olguin sought recovery of $34,518.17 in damages for his past medical costs and $10,000 in damages for his pain and suffering. Defense counsel acknowledged that the emergency room visit and chiropractic care/physical therapy, but argued that Olguin’s consultation with an orthopedist, MRI, and epidural injections were unnecessary.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Pasadena, CA

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