Case details

Passenger claimed head-on crash caused neck injury




Mediated Settlement

Result type

Not present

head, headaches, nerve damage, neurological, neuropathy
On July 26, 2008, the plaintiff, a 50-year-old interior decorator, was a seat-belted rear passenger in a vehicle operated by her plaintiff husband and traveling west on Oakville Cross Road, a two-lane road in Napa. . At approximately 2 p.m., an 81-year-old driver fell asleep at the wheel of her vehicle, crossed over the double-yellow line of Oakville Cross Road and broadsided the plaintiffs’ vehicle. The force of impact moved the plaintiffs’ car approximately one foot sideways and to the edge of an embankment. The plaintiff passenger claimed to her neck. The passenger and her husband sued the driver, alleging that she was negligent in the operation of her vehicle. They claimed that the 81-year-old driver was negligent for driving in such a state that she fell asleep at the wheel, which caused her to cross over the double-yellow line and broadside their vehicle. The plaintiff driver claimed that he attempted evasive maneuvers when he saw the other driver cross the center line, but could not avoid the impact. The 81-year-old driver conceded liability for the accident., The plaintiff passenger went to a hospital several days after the accident. She claimed that the force of the impact resulted in cervical flexion and extension at the C5-6 level. She also claimed she suffered from subsequent headaches and neck pain, and was diagnosed with an aggravation of disc disease and cervical dystonia. The plaintiff’s treating doctor recommended disc replacement surgery, which she contended she would undergo. She has since treated her with physical therapy and chiropractic care. The plaintiff passenger claimed she suffered neuralgia, hand sensitivity and neuropathic pain, as a result of a trigger point injection she received while treating for her cervical . She alleged that this was also a compensable injury related to the subject accident, for which she treated sporadically with a neurologist since 2009. She further claimed that she still experiences pain in her neck, as well as numbness and tingling in her right hand. Thus, the plaintiff passenger claimed $38,670.82 in past medical costs and $79,000 for possible future disc replacement surgery. She also sought recovery of an unspecified amount of damages for her past and future pain and suffering. Her husband presented a derivative claim, seeking recovery of damages for his loss of consortium. Defense counsel contested the nature and extent of the plaintiff passenger’s physical , attributing most of her pain and limitation to an incident that occurred 20 years earlier, when a garage door fell and hit her on the head. Counsel also pointed to an emergency room visit that preceded the subject accident by seven months, where the plaintiff reported numbness and tingling in her right arm, similar to the symptoms she reported after the accident. Thus, defense counsel concluded that the plaintiff had pre-existing problems unrelated to the collision.
Superior Court of San Francisco County, San Francisco, CA

Recommended Experts


Get a FREE consultation for your case