Case details

Plaintiff claimed rear-ender caused soft-tissue injuries





Result type

Not present

back, neck, soft tissue
On April 17, 2009, plaintiff John Perugini, 22, a restaurant manager, was driving his truck on the Hazel Avenue on-ramp, heading to Highway 50 in Sacramento County, when his vehicle was rear-ended by a sport utility vehicle driven by Johanna Guest and owned by David Martin. Perugini claimed back and neck from the crash. Perugini sued Guest and Martin. He alleged that Guest was negligent in the operation of the vehicle and that Martin was vicariously liable for Guest’s actions. Martin was ultimately dismissed from the case prior to trial. Guest conceded liability, and the case proceeded to a judicial arbitration, which awarded Perugini $39,498.19 in damages. However, when Guest’s insurance carrier rejected the arbitration’s finding, the matter proceeded to a trial on the issues of causation and damages., Perugini went to the emergency room later that night on the date of the accident. He claimed he suffered soft-tissue to his cervical and lumbar spine. Perugini subsequently underwent 71 physical therapy visits and chiropractic manipulation. Thus, he claimed he accumulated $26,000 in medical costs. Perugini testified that during his period of injury, his ability to participate in his favorite physical activities, such as baseball, golf and basketball, was impeded. He also claimed that he missed work, where he was earning $14 a month, immediately following the accident, but acknowledged that there was no timecard history about the days specifically missed. Most witnesses described him as missing a period of weeks following the collision, followed by a return to part- time work for a couple of months. Perugini further testified that he has no residual problems other than some intermittent achiness and that future care is not required. The defense’s orthopedic surgery expert opined that 12 physical therapy visits was appropriate and reasonable to care for the injury, and that any further treatment was excessive. The expert further opined that there was no anatomical reason for Perugini to have pain complaints more than three months after the accident.
Superior Court of Sacramento County, Sacramento, CA

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