Case details

Plaintiff claimed ongoing pain from injuries sustained in crash





Result type

Not present

neurological, thoracic outlet syndrome
On Dec. 23, 2014, plaintiff Valerie Meza, 31, a college student, was driving on southbound Mountain Avenue, in Chino, with her minor son, plaintiff Jesse Meza, and minor daughter, plaintiff Leah Meza, as passengers. As the Meza vehicle approached the intersection with Schaefer Avenue, with a green light controlling its direction of travel, it was broadsided by a vehicle operated by Jacob Chavez, who was eastbound on Schaefer Avenue. Valerie Meza claimed to her neck, back, a knee and a shoulder. Her children also claimed . Valerie Meza, acting individually and guardian of her two minor children, sued Chavez, alleging that Chavez was negligent in the operation of his vehicle. Leah and Jesse ultimately settled out of the case. Thus, the matter continued with only Valerie Meza’s claims against Chavez. Valerie Meza claimed that Chavez had a red light as he approached the intersection with Mountain Avenue and that Chavez entered the intersection against the red light, in violation of California Vehicle Code § 21453(a). She also claimed that Chavez was driving at an excessive rate of speed, in violation of California Vehicle Code § 22350. Chavez stipulated to liability., Valerie Meza sustained a bone contusion to the left knee, and a rib separation and/or contusion. She also claimed she was diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome — a group of disorders that occur when blood vessels or nerves in the space between the collarbone and the first rib are compressed — as a result of the accident. Meza underwent an arthroscopic chondroplasty on her left knee. She also received epidural injections to her left knee, cervical spine and thoracic outlet, as well as underwent extensive chiropractic care and physical therapy. Meza claimed that despite treatment, she suffers from pain and limitations in motion and strength to her neck, a shoulder and an arm. She also claimed that she suffers from stiffness and aches of her left knee. Meza alleged that she will require injections to her thoracic outlet for the rest of her life to relieve pain, and give her better mobility and function. She also alleged that she will require additional future care and treatment, including physical therapy, pain medication and consultations with a neurologist. Meza sought recovery of $5 million in total damages. Defense counsel argued that Meza did not suffer from thoracic outlet syndrome and that Meza does not require injections for the rest of her life. Counsel also asked the jury to award Meza no more than $115,000 in total damages.
Superior Court of San Bernardino County, San Bernardino, CA

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