Case details

Passenger: Drivers’ negligence caused intersection crash





Result type

Not present

bruise, chest, head, temporomandibular, TMJ
On March 10, 2010, at approximately 7 p.m., plaintiff Samantha Tovar, 22, a receptionist, was a passenger in a vehicle, operated by Melissa Orozco, that was traveling east on Vineyard Avenue in Oxnard. As they entered the intersection with H Street, their car was broadsided by a vehicle operated by Theresa Ostic, who was attempting a left turn from westbound Vineyard Avenue onto southbound H Street. Tovar primarily claimed to her neck and back. Tovar sued Orozco and Ostic. She alleged that Orozco and Ostic were negligent in the operation of their respective vehicles. Tovar claimed that she does not remember the collision, as she had her eyes closed, but that both Orozco and Ostic failed to use due care while crossing the intersection. Plaintiff’s counsel noted that the police report for the accident listed the driver of the other vehicle, Ostic, as the sole cause of the accident. Orozco claimed that she had a green light as she entered the intersection, which turned yellow during the collision. She also claimed that Ostic caused the accident by failing to yield to oncoming traffic and attempting a left turn. Ostic claimed that she was waiting to turn left at the intersection, when the light turned yellow and the closest vehicle in the number one lane of eastbound Vineyard Avenue began to slow and stop. Thus, she claimed she assumed Orozco, who was in the number two lane, would also stop and proceeded to turn left, but that Orozco continued into the intersection and caused the collision., Tovar sustained soft-tissue to her neck and back, as well as abrasions to her lip and chest as a result of the seat belt. She subsequently went to an emergency room from the scene of the accident, and later treated her neck and back with three months of chiropractic care. Tovar claimed that she also sustained a jaw injury in the accident, which progressed into a temporomandibular joint disorder. As a result, she treated with a dentist, who fitted her for a mandible guard that Tovar had to wear for two months. Tovar claimed that while her have mostly resolved, she still experiences lower back pain after exercising and had to sporadically miss time from work. She alleged that as a result, she will require physical therapy for her lower back. Thus, she sought recovery of damages, including $25,000 in past medical costs, $25,000 in future medical costs, $1,000 in past lost earnings, $100,000 in past pain and suffering, and $25,000 in future pain and suffering. Defense counsel argued that Tovar overtreated her , and that she did not require any further lower back treatment.
Superior Court of Ventura County, Ventura, CA

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