Case details

Plaintiff claimed herniated lumbar discs from rear-ender





Result type

Not present

back, herniated disc
On Aug. 23, 2010, at approximately 3 p.m., plaintiff Rhonda Alexander, 51, a part-time professor, was stopped for a red light on White Canyon Road in Santa Clarita, near Canyon High School, when she was rear-ended by a vehicle operated by Guillermina Hernandez. The impact pushed Alexander’s car into another vehicle, allegedly causing to her lower back and neck. Alexander sued Guillermina Hernandez and the driver’s husband, the owner of the vehicle, Antonio Faustino Hernandez. Alexander alleged that Mrs. Hernandez was negligent in the operation of her vehicle and that her husband was vicariously liable for her actions. The defendants admitted liability for the accident, and the matter proceeded to a trial on causation and damages., On the date of the accident, Alexander went to an urgent care facility with complaints of nausea and pain to her head, neck and back. She was subsequently treated and released. One week later, Alexander followed up with a chiropractor and her primary care doctor. She underwent an MRI of her lower back, which she claimed revealed minor disc herniations at L3-4 and L4-5. As a result, Alexander continued treating with her doctor and chiropractor for three months. Alexander claimed she still experiences lower back pain and discomfort, which affects her ability to perform household chores and volunteer at church and school. However, at trial, she did not seek any damages for future medical treatment. Thus, Alexander claimed $6,504 in past medical costs, and sought recovery of $80,000 in total damages, including damages for her pain and suffering. Defense counsel argued that Alexander sustained only minor soft-tissue and had no herniations from the subject accident. Thus, counsel argued that Alexander exaggerated her symptoms and overtreated.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Van Nuys, CA

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