Case details

Plaintiff claimed continued neck pain after broadside crash





Result type

Not present

arm, back, cervical wrist, disc protrusion, fracture, neck, wrist
On July 10, 2018, plaintiff Maria Barraza, 51, a home health nurse, was operating her vehicle in Anaheim when it entered an intersection and was broadsided by a tow truck operated by Matthew Ginther. Barraza sustained to her neck, back and a wrist. Barraza sued Ginther and Ginther’s employer, Hadley Tow Inc. Barraza alleged that Ginther was negligent in the operation of his vehicle and that Hadley Tow was vicariously liable for Ginther’s actions while working in the course and scope of his employment. The defendants admitted liability., Barraza sustained fractures to a wrist’s ulna and radius, lumbar fractures at L1 and L2, and a 2 to 3 millimeter cervical disc protrusion with mild central canal narrowing at the C5-6 level. She was transported from scene to a hospital. While she did not require treatment for her back, she underwent physical therapy and received epidural injections to treat her cervical spine after an MRI allegedly showed the minimal findings of a cervical protrusion. Barraza ultimately underwent wrist surgery, which included the installation of hardware and the placement pins. Barraza claimed that her lower back symptoms as a result of the lumbar fractures resolved and that she continues to work as a home health nurse, albeit in a reduced capacity because of her continued neck pain. Plaintiff’s counsel noted that Barraza’s work schedule was reduced from full time and overtime to no more than part-time hours. Counsel also contended that Barraza will eventually require an artificial disc replacement to treat her neck injury. Barraza sought recovery of $121,000 for past medical costs, $125,000 for future medical costs, $196,000 for past lost earnings, and $1.4 million for future lost earnings. She also sought recovery of damages for her past and future pain and suffering. In total, plaintiff’s counsel asked the jury to award Barraza just over $3 million. Barraza’s husband, Carlos Barraza, filed a derivative claim seeking recovery for his alleged loss of consortium, but he settled out of the case. Defense counsel contended that Ms. Barraza should have only been out of work for a year and then been able to resume work full time. Counsel also contended that Barraza did not need any further neck treatment and noted that Barraza’s work duties included treating patients at their homes, moving patients on their beds to prevent ulcers and other physical duties, such as carrying medical supplies. Defense counsel asked the jury to award Barraza no more than $350,000 total for all damages.
Superior Court of Orange County, Orange, CA

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