Case details

Plaintiff claimed multiple-vehicle rear-ender caused neck injury




Mediated Settlement

Result type

Not present

neck. pain, numbness, radicular pain, right arm, struck
At approximately 8:30 a.m. on May 6, 2010, plaintiff Donald Johnson, 49, a laundry technician, was driving his pickup truck east on the 210 Freeway in Pasadena when he was involved in a three-vehicle rear-end collision. In the accident, Johnson was struck by a tractor-trailer truck operated by Domingo Jimenez Mendoza. In addition, Johnson struck the vehicle traveling in front of him on the highway. Johnson sued Domingo Jimenez Mendoza, and the owners of the tractor-trailer truck, Onesimo Ruiz Mendoza and ORM Trucking Inc. He alleged that Domingo Jimenez Mendoza was negligent in the operation of his vehicle, and that Onesimo Ruiz Mendoza and ORM Trucking were vicariously liable for his actions. Johnson claimed that the tractor-trailer driver was speeding and driving inattentively at the time of the accident. He alleged that this was made evident by the extensive damage to his pickup truck, which was crushed at both ends. Johnson also claimed that Domingo Jimenez Mendoza failed to slow his vehicle and stop in time to avoid impact, causing the three-car rear-end collision. In addition, plaintiff’s counsel presented the police report from the accident, which allegedly corroborated with Johnson’s account of the incident. Mendoza claimed that Johnson made a last minute, unsafe lane change in front of him, causing him to collide with the rear of the plaintiff’s vehicle., Johnson was taken from the scene of the accident by ambulance and presented to an emergency room with complaints of pain to his neck, back, left knee pain, and right, dominant shoulder. He subsequently underwent X-rays before being released. Johnson then followed up with his physician and underwent MRI scans. He received pain management, consisting of cervical epidural injections for degenerative disc disease, and in September 2010, Johnson underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder and left knee. Johnson claimed that despite treatment and surgery, he still experiences pain and discomfort in his neck, which his physician claimed will require cervical fusion. Johnson’s principle residual complaint involved neck pain with radicular pain and numbness, which went down to his right arm. He alleged that he was a running enthusiast prior to the accident, having competed in the Los Angeles marathon two months before getting injured, but that as a result of his neck pain, he is no longer able to run. Thus, the plaintiff sought recovery of $105,492 in damages for his past medical costs and $9,884 in damages for his past loss of earnings. He also sought recovery of $100,000 in damages for his future medical costs (cervical fusion surgery) and an unspecified amount in damages for his past and future pain and suffering. Defense counsel contended that Johnson did not suffer any serious from the accident in question, and that all of his symptoms and subsequent surgeries were due to pre-existing conditions. Counsel further noted that Johnson had prior extensive cervical radicular complaints, as well as bilateral shoulder and knee .
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Pasadena, CA

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