Case details

Plaintiff claimed collision caused cervical injury





Result type

Not present

bulging disc, cervical shoulder, neck, neurological, radicular pain, radiculitis
On Oct. 5, 2010, plaintiff Ashley Fierro, a school worker, was driving on Telegraph Canyon in Chula Vista when she entered the intersection with Oleander Avenue and was struck on the driver’s side by a vehicle operated by David Castro Leon, who was traveling on Oleander Avenue. Leon’s vehicle then struck another vehicle and came to rest on a curb. Fierro claimed to her neck and left shoulder. Fierro sued Leon, alleging that Leon was negligent in the operation of his vehicle. Specifically, Fierro claimed that Leon ran a red light on Oleander Avenue and was driving at a high rate of speed. Leon admitted liability., After the accident, Fierro went home, but was later taken to an emergency room when she began to not feel well. Fierro claimed pain to her neck and left, non-dominant shoulder with pain radiating down her left arm. She subsequently treated with physical therapy and an epidural injection. The plaintiff’s medical experts testified that there was a straightening of the cervical spine and a minor disc bulge at C5-6 on Fierro’s MRI. The plaintiff’s treating physician, a non-retained expert, testified that Fierro suffered a nerve root irritation at C7, which was consistent with subjective complaints. He further testified that the physical therapy and epidural injection were reasonable and necessary, and related to the subject accident. Fierro worked with children at an after school program. Although she missed little time from work due to the accident, she claimed she was unable to perform her job and interact with the children in the capacity that she could prior to the accident. At the time of trial, several witnesses testified that Fierro was unable to participate in physical activities, both recreational and work-related, in the capacity that she could prior to the accident. Thus, Fierro claimed her past medical bills amounted to approximately $18,000. She also sought recovery of damages for future medical costs, and past and future pain and suffering. Defense counsel argued that Fierro’s were soft-tissue in nature and should have resolved within a couple months. The defense’s medical expert opined that Fierro suffered a minor soft-tissue injury to the neck, which should have resolved with minor conservative care and required no future care. He also opined that there was no objective evidence to support Fierro’s subjective complaints. In addition, the expert testified that Fierro’s MRIs were essentially normal and that the results of Fierro’s Jamar grip strength test indicated that she was not making her maximum effort during testing.
Superior Court of San Diego County, San Diego, CA

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