Case details

Plaintiff claimed cervical disc bulge from rear-end collision





Result type

Not present

bulging disc, cervical, neck
On June 30, 2011, plaintiff Emma Torres, a housekeeper in her 50s, was driving on northbound State Route 41 in Fresno. While stopped for traffic on the Herndon Avenue off-ramp, Torres was rear-ended by a vehicle operated by Richard Kreps. Torres claimed an injury primarily to her neck. Torres sued Kreps, alleging the defendant was negligent in the operation of his vehicle. Torres claimed Kreps was driving inattentively and failed to stop for traffic on the off-ramp. Kreps admitted liability for the accident, and the matter proceeded to a trial on causation and damages., Torres claimed the impact caused $946 in property damage to her vehicle. On the date of the accident, Torres went to an emergency room with complaints of neck and back pain. She was ultimately diagnosed with a bulging cervical disc. Torres then followed up with a few months of physical therapy and received one epidural injection. Torres claimed her back injury had resolved, but that she still experiences neck pain and discomfort. She alleged that as a result, she may eventually require surgery. Thus, Torres sought recovery of $42,000 in past medical costs, and unspecified amounts for her future medical costs, and her past and future pain and suffering. Defense counsel disputed the nature and extent of Torres’ alleged and damages. Counsel argued that the accident was of very low impact and would not have caused Torres any serious injury. Defense counsel contended that Torres’ neck condition was due to a pre-existing injury, sustained in a rollover auto accident 10 months prior to the subject collision. The defense’s independent medical exam expert claimed that an old MRI of Torres’ neck was of such poor quality that he could not rule out a pre-existing disc bulge.
Superior Court of Fresno County, Fresno, CA

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