Case details

Plaintiff claimed rear-end crash caused neck injury and stroke





Result type

Not present

brain, brain injury, cervical, cognition, concussion, depression, fusion, head, impairment, mental, neck, neurological, psychological, radicular pain, radiculitis, sensory, spasm, speech, stroke, traumatic brain injury, vision
On Oct. 16, 2015, plaintiff Bernardina Maya, 54, an occupational therapy program instructor, was stopped on East Laurel Drive, waiting to make a right turn onto Constitution Boulevard, in Salinas, when her vehicle was rear-ended by a vehicle operated by Louis Da Silva. Maya claimed a brain injury. Maya sued Da Silva, alleged that Da Silva was negligent in the operation of his vehicle. Maya’s employer, the Salinas Union High School District, had a lien on the case and brought a separate action against Da Silva. The school district’s case was ultimately consolidated into Maya’s case. Da Silva conceded liability., Maya claimed she sustained a concussion and bilateral cervical muscle spasms, causing distal tingling in her upper, right extremity. She alleged that her condition ultimately caused her to suffer a traumatic brain injury (a stroke). After the accident, Maya was taken home by her partner, but she was eventually taken to Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, in Monterey, later that day. Maya stayed in the hospital until Oct. 20, 2015. She then underwent surgery on her cervical spine, during which a permanent plate was installed on Dec. 17, 2015. Although the surgery went well, medical staff concluded that Maya had suffered a stroke because of sagging in her face and other symptoms. As a result, she stayed at the hospital until Dec. 28, 2015. She was then transferred to Natividad Medical Center, in Salinas, where she stayed until Jan. 19, 2016. Maya claimed she suffers from radiculitis due to nerve root damage to her cervical spine, causing her to suffer distal tingling to her upper, right extremity, especially upon right or left rotation of her neck. She also claimed that she never recovered from the stroke, in that she suffers from dizzy spells (usually when she is upright or when engaging in activities of daily living) and from left side vision defects. Maya further claimed that she has to walk with a walker and has lost the use of an arm. In addition, she claimed she suffers from depression as a result of her condition and that she has a fear of being in cars after the accident. Maya trained as a nurse before and she was employed as an instructor in the physical therapy aid program at Mission Trails Physical Occupational Program, which was part of Salinas Union High School District’s regional occupational programs. She claimed that she loved her work, but due to her physical disability and pain, along with her difficulty concentrating and remembering, returning to work or participating in civic work was impossible. The plaintiff’s neurologist prepared a report, concluding that Maya’s cognitive deficits were secondary to the traumatic brain injury, or stroke, which Maya sustained post-operatively as a result of the subject accident. The neurologist also opined that an ongoing aspect of Maya’s depression involved her missing her teaching and volunteering activities. The plaintiff’s treating psychiatrist prepared a report, concluding that Maya is completely disabled and unable to work. The psychiatrist also opined that Maya has a permanent (psychiatric) impairment, that Maya is permanently and totally disabled, and that Maya is unable to carry out gainful employment of any kind. The Salinas Union High School District and her workers’ compensation carrier had liens on her medical bills.
Superior Court of Monterey County, Monterey, CA

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