Case details

Plaintiff alleged tractor-trailer impact caused permanent neck pain




Mediated Settlement

Result type

Not present

cervical, neck, strain, whiplash
On Sept. 23, 2013, at approximately 5:30 p.m., plaintiff Larry Waller, a retired 68 year old, was driving his Mercedes C230 Compressor sedan on eastbound West San Marcos Boulevard, in Escondido, approaching the intersection with White Sands Drive. When the traffic light turned yellow, he slowed down and ultimately stopped at a red light. Shortly thereafter, a one-ton truck, which had two golf carts in its bed and which was pulling a fully loaded trailer that contained six additional golf carts, rear-ended the back of Waller’s vehicle. Waller claimed he suffered neck . Waller sued the operator of the tractor-trailer, Kenneth Berven (who was initially erroneously sued as Kenneth “Bervens”), and Berven’s employer, Superior Onsight Services, a golf cart rental company that owned both the truck and the trailer. Waller alleged that Berven was negligent in the operation of the truck and that Superior Onsight Services was vicariously liable for Berven’s actions during the course and scope of his employment with the company. Plaintiff’s counsel contended that Berven was following Waller too closely and/or was driving at too high a rate of speed. Thus, counsel contended that Berven was unable to stop his vehicle in time. The defendants admitted liability., Waller claimed he experienced an excruciating headache and pain in his neck and shoulders as a result of the collision. He was subsequently transported by ambulance to a hospital. Waller claimed he sustained a neck strain caused by whiplash and that his neck injury continues to cause daily pain and discomfort, although his other symptoms improved with time. He further claimed that it appears that his neck pain will continue for the rest of his life. Waller alleged that the collision had a profound impact on his life. He claimed he continues to suffer pain and discomfort to his neck when he does a variety of activities, including, but not limited to, playing golf, watching television, reading a book, sitting at a computer, driving a car, and playing with his seven grandchildren who also live with him. He claimed that while taking significant doses of over-the-counter medications, like Advil and Tylenol, helps to relieve some of his pain, the medication causes digestive issues, including severe constipation, that cause him to be extremely uncomfortable. Waller claimed that as a result, he has been forced to limit his participation in those activities just as he enters retirement. Thus, Waller sought recovery of $9,078 in past medical costs. He also sought recovery of damages for his past and future pain and suffering. As Waller is retired, there was no lost-wages claim. Defense counsel contended that Waller suffered some injury as a result of the collision, but disputed the nature and extent of Waller’s damages. The defense’s expert orthopedic surgeon examined Waller and opined that there were objective findings to indicate a prior injury, but that Waller’s condition was made worse by the collision. Thus, the defense’s medical expert recommended that Waller undergo an MRI and future medical treatment, including physical therapy, which will cost approximately $2,500.
Superior Court of San Diego County, Vista, CA

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