Case details

Plaintiff claimed rear-ender aggravated prior neck injury





Result type

Not present

back, brain, brain injury, cervical, cognition, concentration, concussion, head, impairment, lumbar head, mental, neck, psychological, sprain, traumatic brain injury
On Jan. 13, 2017, plaintiff Joseph Hoang, 69, a machinist, was driving on the southbound San Diego Freeway, also known as Interstate 405, in Irvine, when his vehicle was rear-ended by a vehicle operated by Alex Santamaria. Hoang claimed to his head and neck. Hoang sued Alex Santamaria and the owner of Mr. Santamaria’s vehicle, Patricia Santamaria. Hoang alleged that Mr. Santamaria was negligent in the operation of his vehicle and that Ms. Santamaria was vicariously liable for Mr. Santamaria’s actions. The Santamarias admitted liability for the accident., Hoang claimed he sustained a mild traumatic brain injury in the form of a concussion, as well as suffered sprains to his cervical and lumbar spine. He also claimed his pre-existing degenerative disc disease to the cervical levels was aggravated by the subject accident. Hoang was taken to an emergency room and kept overnight for observation. He was then discharged after all the scans were normal. He later received five sets of injections for his alleged neck pain. Hoang claimed his life seems the same as before, but it is actually different. He was a machinist who needed to read blueprints for his position, and he worked for another six months after the accident. However, Hoang claimed he ultimately retired because he noticed he was having problems with short-term memory loss and concentration, and because he felt his mind did not work the same due to his deficits. He did not tell anyone anything was wrong when he retired. Hoang’s family testified that Hoang became a different person after the crash in that he is now very angry, his personality has changed, and he suffers from short-term memory loss. In addition, Hoang claimed he would require future treatment for his neck pain. Hoang sought recovery of $100,000 in past medical costs for the injections. He also sought recovery of unspecified amounts for his future medical costs, past and future loss of earnings, and past and future pain and suffering. Defense counsel disputed the nature and extent of Hoang’s . Counsel argued that Hoang’s neck injury was pre-existing and not caused or aggravated by the collision. Counsel also argued that if Hoang was injured, he suffered nothing more than sprains and strains. The defense’s medical experts opined that Hoang did not suffer any permanent and that Hoang was either malingering or suffering from psychological problems.
Superior Court of Orange County, Orange, CA

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