Case details

Passenger claimed spinal injuries from truck crash





Result type

Not present

back, cervical, fusion, head, headaches, herniated disc, lumbar, neck
On Oct. 19, 2010, plaintiff Juan Casas, 44, a contractor, was a passenger in a two-axel flatbed truck owned by Slaby Environmental Inc., a Borrego Springs-based corporation whose principal was Robert Slaby, and being driven by Slaby Environmental employee Julio Arias. While driving in rainy conditions on southbound Interstate 5, near Tahone Ranch, Arias lost control and spun out into the center divider, striking the passenger side of the truck. Casas claimed he sustained spinal . Casas sued Slaby Environmental, Slaby and Arias. Casas alleged that Arias was negligent in the operation of the truck and that Slaby Environmental and Slaby were vicariously liable for Arias’ actions. Plaintiff’s counsel contended that Arias, acting in his capacity as an employee of Slaby Environmental, was driving too fast for the rainy conditions, causing the truck to hydroplane. Counsel contended that as a result, Arias lost control and spun out into the divider. Slaby Environmental, Slaby and Arias stipulated to negligence at trial., Five hours after the collision, Casas was treated in an emergency room. He claimed he sustained cervical and lumbar disc herniations at the C5-6, L4-5 and L5-S1 levels, as well as contusions to his knees. Casas subsequently underwent three months of chiropractic treatment. However, he ultimately required a cervical fusion sixth months after the collision and a two-level lumber posterior fusion 10 months after the collision. Casas claimed his caused chronic pain and headaches. He also claimed his condition interfered with his ability to work and sleep. Thus, Casas sought an unspecified amount of damages for his past and future pain and suffering, physical impairment, medical expenses and lost income. Defense counsel argued that Casas’ were pre-existing. Counsel contended that Casas applied for worker’s compensation after an on-the-job accident at a warehouse in 1993. Defense counsel further contended that Casas’ physician had recommended fusion surgery in 2001, but that it was not performed at the time. The defense’s medical experts testified that Casas’ stemmed from the prior work accident and age-related degenerative changes. The experts further testified that Casas’ surgeries were unnecessary.
Superior Court of Orange County, Santa Ana, CA

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