Case details

Plaintiff claimed she still suffers ongoing pain due to crash





Result type

Not present

neck, soft tissue
On Dec. 30, 2008, plaintiff Patricia Cardenas, 47, a commercial real estate investor, was operating her new Mercedes Benz S550 on eastbound Union Street in San Francisco, where there are two lanes in opposite directions divided by a broken yellow line so that vehicles can to enter the oncoming lane in order to pass other vehicles. While she was traveling in her lane downhill, she was in a sideswipe accident with an oncoming Toyota Highlander sport utility vehicle that was operated by Richard Evans. Cardenas sued Evans, alleging that he was negligent in the operation of his vehicle. Specifically, Cardenas claimed that Evans was negligent for crossing the broken yellow line and entering her lane when it was unsafe to do so. Thus, she claimed Evans caused the sideswipe accident. Evans denied any negligence. He claimed that he was traveling uphill on westbound Union Street when he saw a taxi cab double-parked in front of him in his lane. He alleged that he then waited 60 seconds behind the double-parked cab as he checked for oncoming traffic before trying to pass. However, he acknowledged that as he attempted to pass the cab on its left, a small portion of his large SUV entered the plane of travel for oncoming vehicles, which was when there was a collision with Cardenas’ vehicle. Thus, he claimed that Cardenas should have seen his vehicle and been able to avoid the sideswipe collision. The parties entered an arbitration, which resulted in a $14,800 award for the plaintiff. However, Cardenas rejected the arbitration award and the matter proceeded to trial., Cardenas was able to leave the scene of the accident on her own, but later claimed she suffered a chronic aggravation of pain to her lumbar spine and a new soft-tissue injury to cervical spine, consisting of a strain/sprain. She subsequently treated with her chiropractic expert for nine months at the California Sports & Family Chiropractic. Cardenas claimed she still has ongoing, chronic neck and lower back pain, which prevents her from exercising. The plaintiff’s chiropractic expert further testified that it is expected that Cardenas will have ongoing pain for the rest of her life. Thus, Cardenas claimed $5,262.50 in damages for her past medical costs and $16,000 in property damage to her car, as well as unspecified damages due to the vehicle’s loss of use for two months. However, she did not make a wage loss claim. Defense counsel conceded that the plaintiff did suffer a new soft-tissue injury to her neck, but the defense’s orthopedic surgery expert testified that any treatment beyond two months was excessive.
Superior Court of San Francisco County, San Francisco, CA

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