Case details

Passenger: Multiple vehicle crash caused bulging discs





Result type

Not present

back, bulging disc, lower back, lumbar neck
On the morning of Oct. 14, 2008, plaintiff Oriana Charles, an unemployed 24-year-old, was in the front, passenger seat of a minivan operated by plaintiff Derrick Mapp Sr., traveling west on Interstate 580 in Oakland. At approximately 7 a.m., the minivan was rear-ended by an AC Transit bus, which was out of service and driven by service technician Roy Fesler. Charles and Mapp claimed they were injured in the crash. Charles and Mapp sued Fesler and the bus’s owner, Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District. They alleged that Fesler was negligent in the operation of the bus and that AC Transit was vicariously liable for his actions. Mapp settled his case with defendants shortly after filing. Thus, the matter proceeded to trial on Charles’ claims against the defendants only. Charles claimed that the initial rear-ender by the bus caused a chain-reaction collision, which involved four vehicles. Plaintiff’s counsel contended that the police report corroborated Charles’ account of the accident. Counsel noted that the report stated that Fesler, who was in the course and scope of his employment with AC Transit, claimed his foot slipped off the brake pedal at the time of the accident. The defendants did not argue liability at trial., Charles went to the emergency room on the day of the accident. She was diagnosed with soft-tissue strains and sprains to her neck and lower back. Charles did not treat for two months and then in December 2008, she underwent an MRI of her lower back that revealed bulging lumbar discs at the L4-5 and L5-S1 levels. She subsequently followed up with a few months of physical therapy. She also underwent both epidural and facet block injections to her lumbar spine. Charles claimed she still experiences residual lower back pain, for which she requires further physical therapy. She also claimed she can no longer play basketball and had to give up her dog because she could no longer go out on long walks. Thus, Charles sought recovery of $33,057.81 in damages for past medical specials, $1,500 in damages for future medical costs, and an unspecified amount of damages for her past and future pain and suffering. Defense counsel disputed the diagnosis of Charles’ lower back complaints, arguing that there was no significant findings of bulging discs. Counsel also argued that Charles overtreated her and should have fully healed shortly after the accident.
Superior Court of Alameda County, Oakland, CA

Recommended Experts


Get a FREE consultation for your case