Case details

Plaintiff claimed driver entered intersection despite red light




Mediated Settlement

Result type

Not present

balance issues, dizziness, head, headaches, migraines, nausea, photosensitivity, severe migraine, short term memory problems, traumatic brain injury, vertigo, vision problems, word-finding difficulties
At around 3:30 p.m. on Jan. 28, 2013, plaintiff Ernestine Tenove, 54, an assistant at her husband’s mortgage financing business, was driving her Jeep Grand Cherokee west in the number three lane of Alton Drive, in Irvine. As Tenove enter the intersection with Irvine Center Drive, the driver’s side of her vehicle was broadsided by a Mercedes 350 sport utility vehicle operated by Firoozeh Jahroumi, who entered the intersection from the number one, southbound lane of Irvine Center Drive. Tenove claimed to her head. Tenove sued Jahroumi, alleging that Jahroumi was negligent in the operation of her vehicle. The manufacturer of Tenove’s vehicle, FCA US LLC, and the automotive dealership that sold Tenove the Jeep, Tuttle-Click, Inc., were also initially named as defendants, but they were ultimately dismissed prior to mediation. Tenove claimed that as she approached the intersection, the light for westbound traffic on Alton Drive was green, so she proceeded into the intersection. She also claimed that at the same time, the light for southbound traffic on Irvine Center Drive was red. Plaintiff’s counsel contended that prior to the collision, Jahroumi had gone to get Botox injections in her forehead and between her eyebrows. Counsel contended that Jahroumi decided to not wear her sunglasses because her face was too sensitive from the injections and believed that if the sun bothered her, she could just reach for them. Thus, plaintiff’s counsel asserted that as Tenove entered the intersection, Jahroumi reached down to get her sunglasses and that when she looked up, the light for her direction of travel was red. Thus, counsel asserted that Jahroumi failed to brake at all and ran the red light, causing her to enter the intersection at the same time as Tenove and broadsided the driver’s side of Tenove’s vehicle. Jahroumi admitted liability., Tenove complained of pain to her head and was subsequently taken to Mission Hospital, in Mission Viejo. Her 3-year-old grandson, Jaiden, who was in the vehicle with her, was also taken to Mission Hospital and kept overnight for observation because he seemed lethargic at the scene. However, he was fine upon discharge. Tenove claimed that she suffered a complicated, mild traumatic brain injury that has caused her serious and permanent cognitive problems. She had a Glasgow coma scale of 14 after the incident, and a CT scan revealed a left frontal subarachnoid hemorrhage. An MRI taken three months after the collision revealed subacute blood in the left frontal lobe of her brain, as well as diffuse axonal shearing in the left occipital lobe and frontal lobe. She was also diagnosed with neurocognitive disorder. Tenove claimed that she now suffers from dizziness, nausea, severe migraine headaches, photosensitivity, vertigo and balance issues, short term memory problems, vision problems, word-finding difficulties, decreased verbal fluency, sleep disturbances, and problems with depth perception. She also claimed that she is now easily fatigued. Tenove’s husband, plaintiff M. Glen Tenove, asserted a loss of consortium claim due to the impact of his wife’s on their marital relationship. Defense counsel contested the extent of Ms. Tenove’s and whether the ongoing symptoms were related to a head injury. Defense counsel did not deny that Ms. Tenove suffered a complicated traumatic brain injury, but asserted that her cognitive deficits were the result of pre-existing conditions and over-medication. The defense’s expert neurologist opined that Ms. Tenove’s migraines were “medication-induced rebound headaches,” and attributed Ms. Tenove’s cognitive problems to pre-existing thyroid and menopause issues. In response, plaintiffs’ counsel denied that Ms. Tenove was taking any medication that would cause a rebound headache, and contended that medical records were clear that Ms. Tenove’s thyroid and menopause symptoms were well controlled prior to the incident.
Superior Court of Orange County, Orange, CA

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