Case details

Plaintiff claimed rear-end crash caused shoulder injury





Result type

Not present

back, neck, positional instability shoulder, soft tissue, sprains, strains
On the evening of March 17, 2010, plaintiff Sammi Allen, 18, a student, was driving north on Coffee Road in Bakersfield. At approximately 9:30 p.m., while approaching the intersection of Brimhall Road, Sammi was rear-ended by a vehicle operated by Samantha Bera, 17. Sammi claimed to her left shoulder, neck, and back. Sammi sued Samantha and the owner of the vehicle, Samantha’s mother, Sonja Clark. She alleged that Samantha was negligent in the operation of her vehicle and that Clark was vicariously liable for her daughter’s actions. Clark was ultimately dismissed from the action once it was determined that Samantha was an insured on the vehicle’s policy. Samantha admitted liability for the accident, and the matter proceeded to a trial on damages only., Sammi went to her primary care physician five days after the accident, complaining of pain primarily to her left, non-dominant shoulder, as well as to her neck and back. She visited her doctor three times and was referred to an orthopedic surgeon. Sammi was ultimately diagnosed with global instability of her left shoulder, as well as strains and sprains of her neck and back. As a result, on Feb. 10, 2011, Sammi underwent arthroscopic surgery on her left shoulder, and received physical therapy both before and after the procedure. Sammi claimed her shoulder injury is permanent. Thus, she alleged that she is no longer able to lift her left arm over her head or behind her back, restricting her ability to do yoga, clean her home and other activities. Thus, Sammi sought recovery of $40,200 in total past medical costs and $300,000 in general damages, which included damages for her past and future pain and suffering. The defense’s medical expert conceded that Sammi suffered from left shoulder instability, but opined that the condition was a pre-existing, congenital defect that was not caused or worsened by the subject accident.
Superior Court of Kern County, Kern, CA

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