Case details

Plaintiff claimed crash caused by driver on cell phone





Result type

Not present

back, brain, brain damage, fusion, herniated disc, lumbar, neck, traumatic brain injury
On Feb. 14, 2018, plaintiff Jesse Equihua, 58, a truck driver, was driving on West Avenue D, in Lancaster. As he proceeded through the intersection with 60th Street West, his truck’s left side was struck by a vehicle that was being driven by Shayna Nash, who was traveling on 60th Street West. Equihua’s truck rolled more than a full revolution, and it came to rest on one side, with Equihua suspended by his seat belt. Equihua suffered of his back, his head and his neck. Equihua sued Nash and the owner of Nash’s vehicle, Marilyn Chausse. Equihua alleged that Nash was negligent in the operation of her vehicle and that Chausse was vicariously liable for Nash’s actions. Equihua also alleged that Chausse was negligent for entrusting the vehicle to Nash. Equihua’s counsel contended that Nash ignored a stop sign because she was talking on a cell phone. Equihua’s course was not governed by a traffic-control device. Equihua’s counsel also contended that Chausse should have known that Nash was an unfit driver. Defense counsel conceded liability., Equihua suffered a traumatic brain injury. He claimed that he also suffered herniations of his C2-3, C3-4, C5-6, C6-7, L1-2, L2-3, L3-4, L4-5 and L5-S1 intervertebral discs. Equihua was transported to a hospital, where he was treated and released. After exhausting every conservative care measure for his lumbar spine, he underwent fusion at the L4-5 level, with a right L5-S1 hemilaminotomy. Equihua’s wife, Barbara Equihua, testified about how her husband has been changed by his . She claimed that he is now more moody and lashes out more often in emergent situations. She also claimed that her husband is not the same man anymore, but that there are moments in which "the old guy is still in there." She further claimed that her husband will no longer be able to continue working as a result of his . Jesse Equihua’s physicians believe that he will need an additional three surgeries to his spine, as well as the implantation of a neurostimulator. The physicians also believe that Equihua would require a lifetime of care as a result of his traumatic brain injury. Equihua sought recovery of past and future medical costs, and damages for past and future pain and suffering. His wife sought recovery for her past and future loss of consortium. Judge Wendy Chang issued terminating sanctions against defense counsel prior to trial, so the defense did not get to oppose damages at trial.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Lancaster, CA

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