Case details

Plaintiff claimed freightliner impact caused disc bulge





Result type

Not present

bulging disc, cervical, neck, whiplash
On Nov. 30, 2011, at approximately 3:30 p.m., plaintiff James Flores, 53, a drafter, was driving on San Marcos Boulevard in San Marcos when he was rear-ended by a freightliner operated by Ronald Paul Stablein. The impact pushed Flores’ vehicle off to the side and then Stablein rear-ended another vehicle. Flores claimed he injured his neck in the accident. Flores sued Stablein. He alleged the defendant was negligent in the operation of his vehicle. Flores claimed that just prior to the accident, he and other vehicles slowed down due to a tire in the road. However, he claimed that Stablein was inattentive and failed to slow down his freightliner, causing it to severely impact his vehicle and break the back of his driver’s seat. Stablein admitted negligence, but claimed that he was not the main factor in causing the accident. He alleged that the driver of a phantom vehicle, which left the tire in the road, was mostly at fault for causing the accident., Flores lost consciousness following the accident and was taken by ambulance to an emergency room. He also claimed whiplash to his neck. Flores subsequently followed up with his primary physician and initially underwent 12 sessions of physical therapy. Flores claimed that because he was battling cancer at the time of the accident and receiving radiation, he had to hold off on having a MRI of his neck until eight months later, when it was revealed that he had sustained a bulging cervical disc at the C4-5 level. Flores claimed that he is 80 percent healed, but that his lifestyle has been dramatically changed in that he is restricted from biking, fishing, running and other activities. He also claimed he may eventually treat with additional physical therapy, but is currently focusing on his cancer treatment. Thus, Flores sought recovery of $4,755.90 for his past medical costs, $30,000 for his past pain and suffering, and $30,000 for his future pain and suffering. He also sought recovery of an unspecified amount of damages for his future medical costs. Defense counsel conceded that Flores injured his neck in the accident, but argued that Flores only suffered strains and sprains that should have resolved within three months. As such, counsel contended that the MRI was unnecessary, and asked the jury to only award Flores $3,013 in past medical costs and $3,000 to $7,500 for his pain and suffering.
Superior Court of San Diego County, Vista, CA

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