Case details

Plaintiff claimed multiple disc bulges from head-on crash





Result type

Not present

back, bulging disc, cervical, lumbar, neck, nerve impingement, neurological
On Aug. 7, 2008, at approximately 4 p.m., plaintiff Sandra Alarcon, 46, a housekeeper/babysitter, was driving her sport utility vehicle west on Hutton Drive in Los Angeles when she was involved in a head-on collision with a vehicle operated by Judith Sollott, who was traveling east on Hutton Drive. Both vehicles were totaled in the accident. Alarcon claimed to her neck, lower back, abdomen, right foot, and left hand. Alarcon sued Sollott. She alleged the defendant was negligent in the operation of her vehicle. Sollott passed away for reasons not related to the accident, and was replaced in the action by Howard Learner, as executor of the estate of Judith Sollott. The matter then proceeded to a binding arbitration at Judicate West. Alarcon claimed that the accident was caused by Sollott driving on the wrong side of Hutton Drive, which has only one lane for each direction of travel. Plaintiff’s counsel presented testimony from the investigating traffic officer, who reported that both vehicles made impact and came to a rest in the westbound lane of traffic. Sollott’s estate did not dispute liability for the accident., Alarcon was taken from the scene of the accident by ambulance and brought to an emergency room with complaints of neck, lower back, abdomen, right foot, and left hand pain. She was initially treated for soreness and bruising and followed up with a series of chiropractic treatments, including massage, electrical stimulation, heat packs and acupuncture. Alarcon claimed that when she continued to experience neck and back pain radiating into her arms and legs, she underwent MRIs that revealed multiple bulging discs in her cervical and lumbar regions with nerve root impingement concentrated in her cervical region. She claimed that as a result, she requires additional therapy, as well as epidural injections to her neck and back. Alarcon claimed $38,205.06 in past medical costs and she also sought recovery of $30,000 in damages for her future medical costs that included epidural injections. She further sought recovery of damages for her past and future pain and suffering. In addition, Alarcon sought recovery of $900 for the loss of use of her vehicle and recovery of the $1,000 deductible under her insurance policy. However, she did not seek damages for lost earnings, despite claiming she could not work for one month after the accident. Defense counsel contended that Alarcon’s injury complaints were simply a function of age, specifically due to degenerative conditions in her neck and back and osteoarthritis. Counsel also contended that Alarcon had inconsistent complaints when she went to her physician, and that her medical care and bills were not reasonable.
Judicate West- Santa Ana, CA

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