Case details

Passenger: Crash caused shoulder and neck injuries





Result type

Not present

chest, left shoulder, neck
On Aug. 24, 2010, plaintiff Margarita Avila, 72, a retiree, was a front seat passenger in a sport utility vehicle operated by her daughter, Lorena Avila Houchin, traveling east on Lincoln Avenue in Riverside. At approximately 7:50 a.m., their SUV entered the intersection at Westridge Road and broadsided the passenger side of a Mustang operated by Relena Sherrier, who was attempting a left turn from westbound Lincoln Avenue onto southbound Westridge Road. Avila claimed to her left shoulder, chest, and neck. Avila sued Houchin and Mrs. Sherrier. Avila alleged Houchin and Mrs. Sherrier were negligent in the operation of their respective vehicles. She also named Sherrier’s husband and co-owner of the vehicle, Joe Sherrier, on a stipulation involving statutory liability. The Sherriers and Houchin each filed cross-actions against each other, alleging fault for the accident. Avila contended that Mrs. Sherrier failed to yield to Houchin’s oncoming vehicle and made an unsafe left turn at the intersection. Mrs. Sherrier claimed that Houchin was speeding through the intersection and not making a right turn, which was Houchin’s claim at trial., Avila was taken by ambulance to an emergency room, where she underwent an MRI that revealed a completely torn and retracted supraspinatus tendon of her right shoulder’s rotator cuff, as well as a partially torn infraspinatus tendon of the right shoulder. She also claimed a herniated disc at C5-6 and a diffuse chest injury. Avila treated the cervical herniation with three epidural injections and underwent arthroscopic surgery on her right shoulder in April 2012. She then followed up the surgery with six months of physical therapy. Avila claimed her neck injury occasionally bothers her sleeping and that her right shoulder has not fully healed. She also claimed that she has residual weakness and discomfort that has made it difficult to cook traditional Mexican meals and caused her to curb her church activities. Avila alleged that as a result, she will require future care and/or injections to treat flare-ups of pain. Thus, Avila sought recovery of $135,000 in past medical costs, and $60,000 to $90,000 in future medical costs. She also sought recovery of $300,000 in damages for her past pain and suffering, and an unspecified amount of damages for her future pain and suffering. Defense counsel argued that Avila’s shoulder were pre-existing conditions that became symptomatic with the accident. Counsel also argued that Avila’s neck injury was pre-existing, degenerative and unrelated to the subject accident.
Superior Court of Riverside County, Riverside, CA

Recommended Experts


Get a FREE consultation for your case