Case details

Plaintiff claimed brain and spine injuries from broadside crash





Result type

Not present

brain, brain injury, bulging disc, cervical, closed head injury, cognition, head, headaches, mental, neck, psychological, traumatic brain injury
At approximately 2:45 p.m. on March 13, 2008, plaintiff Rubia Barrowcliff, 39, a homemaker, was driving her sport utility vehicle on westbound De Portola Road, crossing the intersection with Anza Road in Temecula, when she was broadsided by a pickup truck operated by George Tysarzyk. She claimed to her head, neck and back. On Feb. 10, 2009, Barrowcliff was involved in another accident while traveling east on Winchester Road in Temecula. This one involved a chain-reaction rear-end collision in which she was struck by a vehicle operated by Yuraina Mezan, who first struck by a vehicle operated by Melody Stotts. Barrowcliff claimed she aggravated her from the first accident in the chain-reaction collision and further suffered a bulging disc in her neck. Barrowcliff sued Tysarzyk, Mezan and Stotts. She alleged the defendants were negligent in the operation of their respective vehicles. Barrowcliff voluntarily dismissed her action against Stotts and settled her case against Mezan for $3,000. Thus, she proceeded to trial with her claims against Tysarzyk only. Plaintiffs’ counsel contended that Tysarzyk ran stop sign at the intersection in question and failed to yield the right of way to Barrowcliff, causing Tysarzyk to strike the driver’s side door of the SUV at 30 to 35 mph. Tysarzyk admitted liability for the accident., Following the March 2008 accident, Barrowcliff was taken by ambulance to an emergency room. She claimed she was rendered unconscious, and was subsequently diagnosed with a closed head injury and mild traumatic brain injury. She was also diagnosed with strains and sprains to her neck and back. Barrowcliff treated with a neurologist to address her head and followed up with roughly seven weeks of chiropractic care to treat her spinal . Barrowcliff claimed that following the February 2009 accident, she aggravated her prior neck and back , and suffered a bulging cervical disc. Barrowcliff claimed she still deals with memory impairment and headaches caused by her traumatic brain injury, and that she will require further neurological treatment for the “retraining of her brain.” However, she claimed she will not pursue future treatment for her orthopedic . Barrowcliff alleged that her whole lifestyle has been altered following the accidents, in that she can’t participate in her children’s school activities and has difficulty performing chores around the house. Thus, Barrowcliff sought roughly $1.2 million in total damages, including $7,000 in past medical costs, $220,000 in future medical costs, and $400,000 for her past and future pain and suffering. Her husband, Todd, presented a derivative claim, seeking recovery of damages for his loss of consortium. Defense counsel argued that the numbness and tingling in Mrs. Barrowcliff’s arm were the result of a bulging disc caused by pre-existing degenerative disc disease that was exacerbated by the second accident. Counsel further argued that Mrs. Barrowcliff did not suffer a traumatic brain injury.
Superior Court of Riverside County, Riverside, CA

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