Case details

Plaintiff claimed driver ran red light, causing broadside crash





Result type

Not present

brain, concussion, head
On April 8, 2010, at 9:45 a.m., plaintiff Joseph Wergeland, a roofing business owner in his 50s, was in his silver, 2003 Dodge Ram traveling west on Howard Avenue in Burlingame when his pickup truck was broadsided by a brown, 1978 Ford F-100 pickup truck operated by Peter Traube. Wergeland claimed head and spinal from the crash. Wergeland sued Peter Traube and the co-owner of the Ford, Joy Traube. He initially alleged that Mr. Traube was negligent in the operation of his pickup and that Ms. Traube was vicariously liable for Mr. Traube’s actions. However, Ms. Traube was later dismissed from the suit. Wergeland contended that Mr. Traube passed a red stoplight and broadsided his Dodge pickup on the passenger side. Mr. Traube contended that he had a green light and that he was not at fault for the collision., Wergeland was taken by ambulance to Sequoia Hospital in Redwood City. He was diagnosed with a concussion and released within two hours. Wergeland was ultimately diagnosed with post-concussive disorder, and he claimed he also suffered soft-tissue neck and back that resulted from the collision. He also claimed he developed post-traumatic stress disorder, resulting in agoraphobia, an anxiety disorder caused by the perception that an environment is difficult to escape and where getting help is perceived as being difficult. Wergeland alleged that as a result, he required treatment with a psychologist for about one year. Wergeland claimed that despite treatment, his PTSD persisted and was going to be a permanent condition. He also claimed that his memory was adversely affected and he was forced to drop out of school. Wergeland alleged that as a result of the agoraphobia, he rarely leaves his bedroom and prefers to remain solitary. He also alleged that he is no longer able to effectively communicate with others or spend enjoyable time with his children, family and friends. In addition, Wergeland claimed that he did not work for two weeks after the accident, but was ultimately able to return to his profession. However, he alleged that his PTSD affects his employment, causing him to work off-and-on since the date of the accident. He also alleged that his were aggravated by his job and that he has repeatedly applied for disability. A loss of consortium claim was also initially included.
Superior Court of San Mateo County, San Mateo, CA

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