Case details

Plaintiff claimed rear-end crash caused new herniation





Result type

Not present

lumbar spine injury, pain
At around 3:30 p.m. on Sept. 3, 2014, plaintiff Michelle Rey, 51, a corporate director of surgical technology, was stopped for a red light in her 2012 Nissan Altima at the intersection of Fourth Street and Haven Avenue, in Ontario, when she was rear-ended by a food delivery truck operated by Shoab Naim Siddiquie, an independent contractor for American Food Distributors Inc. Siddiquie was delivering various products from various vendors, including Fresh & Ready Foods, at the time of the collision. No police report was made. Rey claimed to her back. Rey sued Shoab Naim Siddiquie (who was initially erroneously sued as “Siddiquie Shoab Naim”); Fresh & Ready Foods; American Food Distributors Inc., and the owner of the food delivery truck, Vahram Kirakosyan. Rey alleged that Siddiquie was negligent in the operation of the food delivery truck and that the remaining defendants were liable for Siddiquie’s actions. American Food Distibutors was dismissed from the case when it was determined that the insurance policy covered the Kirakosyan (vehicle owner) and Siddiquie (as a driver). Fresh & Ready Foods was also dismissed, as it was a vendor of American Food Distributors. Thus, the matter continued against Siddiquie and Kirakosyan. However, Kirakosyan died in May of 2015, but was kept involved in the litigation because his name was on the insurance policy. Plaintiff’s counsel contended that Siddiquie was traveling at approximately 20 mph at the time of impact. Thus, counsel contended that Siddiquie was in violation of California Vehicle Code § 22350 for traveling at a speed greater than what was reasonable for the conditions., Rey claimed that the impact caused a lumbosacral disc herniation at the L5-S1 level. She ultimately sought treatment two weeks later. Rey previously underwent a discectomy at the L5-S1 level in May 2014, approximately four months before the subject collision. Although she did not seek treatment for two weeks, Rey claimed the subject crash caused a new herniation at the L5-S1 surgical site. Thus, Rey claimed that as a result of the crash, she required a hemilaminotomy on Dec. 2, 2014, and a lumbar fusion on May 13, 2015. Rey claimed that she could not work for nearly a year as a result of her injury, causing her to lose her job and take a new job at a reduced pay rate. Thus, Rey sought recovery of medical costs and lost wages. She also sought recovery of damages for her pain and suffering. Defense counsel contended that the impact was not significant enough to cause anything but a minor injury and that Rey’s lumbar spine could not have been injured from a rear-end impact, such as the subject one. Defense counsel noted that radiological experts on both side agreed that there was no way to tell what the cause of the recent herniation, or residual disc protrusion, was or whether, in fact, it was a result of the recent lumbar procedure in May 2014. Accordingly, defense counsel asserted that any injury to Rey’s back was due to a recurrent disc herniation from the prior surgery.
Superior Court of San Bernardino County, San Bernardino, CA

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