Case details

Plaintiff claimed ankle and pelvic injuries from collision





Result type

Not present

ankle, ankles, back, dislocation, fracture, fusion, hip, lower back, lumbar, neck, pelvis, transverse fractures lower back, transverse process, vertebra
On Dec. 6, 2013, plaintiff Elvia Gonzalez, 59, a housekeeper, was operating her 2009 Nissan Versa on northbound Ferrell Road, in Imperial County, when her vehicle broadsided a commercial flatbed truck, fully loaded with nearly 20,000 pounds of chicken pellets. The truck was operated by Jose Maneses, who was attempting to make a left turn in front of Gonzalez’s vehicle. Gonzalez fractured her ankles and pelvis, and injured her lower back. Gonzalez sued Maneses and Maneses’ employer, Joe Heger Farms LLC. Gonzalez alleged that Maneses was negligent in the operation of the truck and that Joe Heger Farms was vicariously liable for Maneses’ actions while in the course and scope of his employment with the company at the time of the accident. Gonzalez contended that Maneses was southbound when he crossed into the northbound lane to begin making an improper left turn. Gonzalez claimed that as a result, she attempted to avoid a collision with the truck, but was unable to do so due to its size. The defendants ultimately admitted liability just prior to trial., Gonzalez sustained fractures of her left ankle and pelvis. She also dislocated her right ankle and suffered transverse fractures of her lower back, requiring a lumbar fusion. Gonzalez was subsequently taken to a hospital, where she underwent several surgeries to repair the fractures. She then underwent three other major surgeries, including a hip replacement and hardware removal surgery in her leg. Gonzalez claimed that she continues to suffer chronic pain syndrome and is left with physical limitations, such as difficulty with sitting, standing, or walking for long periods of time. She claimed that as a result, she remains unable to return to work as a housekeeper. She further claimed that may eventually require surgeries to her back and shoulder. Thus, Gonzalez sought recovery of damages for her past and future medical costs, past and future loss of earnings, and past and future pain and suffering. Defense counsel argued that Gonzalez was not as seriously injured as she alleged and that the amount of damages sought by Gonzalez was excessive. Counsel also argued that Gonzalez had substantially recovered and would not have any lifelong complaints relating to her .
Superior Court of Imperial County, El Centro, CA

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