Case details

Plaintiff: Auto accident caused injuries of brain, face, spine





Result type

Not present

anxiety, back, brain, brain damage, brain injury, cervical, cognition, concussion, depression, face, fusion, head, headaches, herniated disc, language, mental, neck, nerve, neurological, nose, psychological, sensory, speech, traumatic brain injury
On March 15, 2017, plaintiff Stacey Burton, 54, a teacher and tutor, was driving on State Route 223, in Kern County. While she was executing a left turn, her vehicle’s right side was struck by a tractor-trailer that was being driven by Francisco Murillo. Burton claimed that she suffered of her face, her head and her neck. Burton sued Murillo and the company whose freight he was transporting when the accident occurred, Martinez Trucking Logistics Inc. The lawsuit alleged that Murillo was negligent in the operation of his vehicle. The lawsuit further alleged that Martinez Trucking Logistics was vicariously liable for Murillo’s actions. Plaintiff’s counsel contended that the accident was a result of recklessness. A responding police officer’s report indicated that Murillo was traveling on the left side of the roadway’s centerline., Burton claimed that she suffered a concussion and mild residual damage of her brain, that she suffered a loss of consciousness, that she suffered herniations of her C3-4, C4-5, C5-6 and L5-S1 intervertebral discs, that she suffered of her jaw, and that she suffered damage and resultant neuralgia of her face’s trigeminal nerve. She claimed that her face developed numbness and severe pain. She also claimed that her brain’s injury caused impairment of her speech and a cognitive element: her memory. She further claimed that she developed post-concussion syndrome, with manifestations that included anxiety, depression, headaches, insomnia and nightmares. Burton underwent chiropractic treatment, physical therapy and the administration of an epidural injection of a steroid-based painkiller, but she claimed that her neck remained painful. She ultimately underwent surgery that included a discectomy, which involved excision of her C3-4, C4-5 and C5-6 discs; fusion of the corresponding levels of her spine; and a corpectomy, which involved excision of portions of adjacent vertebrae. She also underwent administration of an optic-nerve block injection, which addressed her headaches. Burton claimed that her back remains painful, and she also claimed that she suffers ongoing impairment of her memory and speech. She claimed that she would require administration of another epidural injection, that that she would require administration of painkilling facet-block injections, that she may require a rhizotomy, which would involve ablation of a problematic spinal nerve, and that she would require surgery that would involve excision of her L5-S1 disc. She sought recovery of past medical expenses, about $275,000 for future medical expenses, and unspecified damages for past and future pain and suffering. Defense counsel contended that Burton did not suffer an injury of the brain. Defense counsel further contended that Burton’s herniated discs predated the accident.
Superior Court of Kern County, Bakersfield, CA

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