Case details

Plaintiff claimed multiple injuries caused by speeding driver




Mediated Settlement

Result type

Not present

back, chest, clavicle, closed head injury, disc protrusion, facet syndrome, fracture, head, lumbar head, neck, rib, shoulder, stenosis
On April 28, 2014, plaintiff Michael Rood, 41, a police officer, was driving a Chevrolet Suburban on westbound State Route 4, also known as the California Delta Highway, near the city of Antioch, in Contra Costa County. Due to traffic congestion, Rood brought his vehicle to a stop. However, after stopping his vehicle, Rood was rear-ended by a truck operated by Michael Muha, who was in the course and scope of his employment with Pure Electric Co. Rood claimed to his chest, head and back. Rood sued Michael Muha, individually and doing business as Pure Electric; and the co-owner of the vehicle and company, Deborah Muha, individually and doing business as Pure Electric. Rood alleged that Mr. Muha was negligent in the operation of his truck and that Ms. Muha and Pure Electric were vicariously liable for Mr. Muha’s actions. Rood contended that he was stopped for about five seconds before his full-sized sport utility vehicle was struck. Thus, he asserted that Mr. Muha caused the collision by driving at an unsafe speed for the traffic conditions and by failing to observe the slowing traffic. The defendants conceded liability., Rood required on-scene medical attention and was subsequently transported to an Emergency Department. While hospitalized, he was treated for rib fractures, a left clavicle fracture, a left scapular fracture, a nasal fracture, and an acute closed head injury. Rood underwent an open reduction and internal fixation of the left midshaft clavicle, and he was later discharged from the hospital. Following his discharge, Rood began experiencing pain in the areas of his cervical and lumbar spine. He was ultimately diagnosed with lumbar disc protrusions and stenosis at L4-5 and L5-S1, and cervical facet syndrome. Rood underwent treatment for both areas of the spine, including injections and a radiofrequency ablation to his cervical spine. His treatment was periodic, but it continued for approximately three years post-accident. Rood then went back to work within three months of the accident. Rood did not claim any limitations that precluded him from performing his job. However, he claimed that he was advised that he would possibly require a future anterior lumbar interbody fusion with decompression. Thus, Rood sought recovery of past and future medical costs, including the recommended future operation and other pain management treatment. He also sought recovery of damages for his past and future pain and suffering. His wife brought a derivative claim, seeking recovery for her loss of consortium. Defense counsel asserted that Mr. Rood was fully healed from all of his three months after the accident, at which time Mr. Rood returned to his full-time job as a police officer with no restrictions. Defense counsel also cited a lumbar spine condition that Mr. Rood was treated for prior to the subject collision, and asserted that the pre-existing condition was the reason for Mr. Rood’s lumbar spine treatment and any potential need for future medical care.
Superior Court of Contra Costa County, Martinez, CA

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