Case details

Plaintiff claimed permanent thoracic injuries from rear-ender





Result type

Not present

back, disc protrusion, left hand, neck, thoracic neck, upper back
On July 27, 2010, at approximately 5 p.m., plaintiff Ronald Wald, 65, a retiree/classic automobile restorer, was driving his 1922 Ford Model T on Geary Road in Pleasant Hill when he stopped near the intersection with Pleasant Hill Road and was rear-ended by a cargo van operated by Rafi Petrossian. Wald claimed to his upper back, neck, and left hand. Wald sued Petrossian, alleging the defendant was negligent in the operation of his vehicle. Wald claimed Petrossian was inattentive and failed to see the stopped traffic ahead of him. Petrossian claimed he was picking up something that had dropped on the floor of his vehicle just prior to impact. Thus, he admitted liability, and the matter proceeded to a trial on causation and damages., Wald was taken by ambulance to an emergency room, where he was diagnosed with a facet injury to his thoracic spine with two focal disc protrusions at T5-6 and T6-7. He also claimed minor soft-tissue strains and sprains of his neck and left hand. Wald treated his thoracic with physical therapy through May 2012. However, he claimed he could not receive any pain injections due to him already being on prescription heart medication (blood thinners). Wald claimed that although his neck and left hand had resolved, he still experiences residual pain and discomfort in his upper back. He alleged that as a result, he is now limited in his ability to bend and twist, affecting his ability to restore cars, as he can now only perform bench work and cannot do any heavy lifting. He also alleged that he is restricted from yard work and other household services. In addition, Wald claimed that his thoracic condition is permanent. Thus, Wald sought recovery of $700,000 in lost earnings. He also sought recovery of damages for his pain and suffering. (Wald’s property damage claim was settled during trial, and he waived his claim for medical costs.) Defense counsel argued that the jury should not award Wald anything for his alleged lost earnings, as Wald failed to report his income from restoring cars in his Federal Income Tax returns over a period of seven years preceding the accident. Counsel further argued that Wald only suffered minor strains and sprains of his upper back, which should have resolved within four to six months.
Superior Court of Contra Costa County, Contra Costa, CA

Recommended Experts


Get a FREE consultation for your case