Case details

Plaintiff claimed broadside crash caused wrist fractures




Mediated Settlement

Result type

Not present

arm, bulging disc, cervical, fracture, neck, wrist
On April 3, 2016, plaintiff Samantha Navarro, 23, a spa coordinator at a resort, was driving east on South Palos Verdes Drive, in Rancho Palos Verdes. As the she entered the intersection with Seahill Drive, her 2015 Honda Civic broadsided a vehicle that pulled into the intersection from a stop sign on Seahill Drive. Navarro sustained to her neck and right wrist. Navarro sued the occupants of the other vehicle, Thomas Hindman and Raven Concepcion, and the owner of the vehicle, Hertz Vehicles LLC. Navarro alleged that either Hindman or Concepcion negligent in the operation of the vehicle and that Hertz Vehicles was vicariously liable for their actions. Plaintiff’s counsel noted that there is no stop sign for through traffic on South Palos Verdes Drive, but that Seahill Drive had posted stop signs. Thus, counsel asserted that the Hertz vehicle was stopped at a stop sign as Navarro approached the intersection and that the driver of the Hertz vehicle failed to yield the right-of-way to Navarro. Counsel also asserted that the driver negligently and illegally drove into the intersection directly in front of Navarro’s oncoming vehicle, instead of waiting for Navarro to pass, causing the collision. Plaintiff’s counsel noted that the investigating officer concluded that Hindman was 100 percent liable for causing the collision by negligently entering the intersection directly in front of Navarro’s on-coming vehicle in disregard of her right-of-way. However, Navarro claimed that she believed that Concepcion was the actual driver and that Hindman and Concepcion switched seats at the scene before the police arrived. However, Concepcion was never served, so the matter proceeded against the remaining defendants., Navarro sustained fractures of her right, dominant wrist and annular bulging of the cervical discs. The collision caused extensive damage to the front of Navarro’s vehicle and caused Navarro’s air bag to deploy. The vehicle was subsequently determined to be a total loss. Navarro was transported from the scene by ambulance to Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center San Pedro, where she underwent X-rays of the right wrist and revealed a comminuted fracture of the distal radial metaphysis and a fracture of the ulnar styloid. She also underwent a cervical MRI, which revealed narrowed disc space with a two to three millimeter annular disc bulge at C5-6 and narrowed disc space with a one to two millimeter annular disc bulge at C6-7. Navarro’s right wrist was subsequently placed in a volar wrist splint. Three days after the collision, Navarro saw an orthopedist, who confirmed the diagnosis of right wrist fractures and placed Navarro in a fiberglass cast, which was removed a month later for further observation. When Navarro continued to complain of agonizing pain in her right wrist, her orthopedist concluded that Navarro was suffering from a slight misalignment of the healed fracture. As a result, Navarro went through a course of physical therapy. While she was undergoing treatment for her broken wrist, Navarro was also being treated for alleged pain in her neck and back pain as a result of the collision. She subsequently received chiropractic treatment and an orthopedic evaluation. Her orthopedic surgeon recommended image-guided facet injections, in conjunction with ongoing therapy, but Navarro never received the injections. Navarro claimed she had fair improvement to her wrist following the physical therapy, but that a slight physical deformity of the right wrist has remained and is permanent. She alleged that as a result, she has some restricted motion in her right, dominant wrist. However, Navarro claimed that she still works full time and performs her functions normally. Thus, Navarro sought recovery of approximately $24,000 in past medical expenses for the ambulance, hospital, the orthopedic surgeon and chiropractor. She also sought recovery of damages for her pain and suffering. Defense counsel disputed the extent of Navarro’s and the amount of the alleged damages. Counsel also asserted that Navarro’s prognosis was good.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles, CA

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