Case details

Plaintiff claimed shoulder and other injuries from crash





Result type

Not present

dislocation, right shoulder, shoulder
On Sept. 22, 2011, at approximately 8:30 a.m., plaintiff Dolores Ruiz, 29, a certified nursing assistant, was traveling in a 2002 Lincoln vehicle on westbound Bernal Drive, in Salinas. As she entered the intersection with Maryal Drive, the front of her vehicle collided with the right, front tire and side of a 1997 Nissan Quest driven by Rebecca Trujillo, who was attempting to make a left turn from eastbound Bernal Drive onto Maryal Drive. Ruiz claimed an injury to her right shoulder. Ruiz sued Mrs. Trujillo and the believed owner of the Nissan, Mrs. Trujillo’s husband, Juan Trujillo. Ruiz alleged that Mrs. Trujillo was negligent in the operation of her motor vehicle, resulting in the collision, and that Mr. Trujillo was vicariously liable for his wife’s actions. Mr. Trujillo was ultimately dismissed from the case after opening statements. Plaintiff’s counsel contended that Mrs. Trujillo attempted an unsafe left turn. Counsel argued that as a result, Ruiz had no opportunity to apply her brakes or turn to avoid the collision. Defense counsel argued that Ruiz was inattentive and should have stopped or turned to the right in order to avoid the collision., Following the accident, Ruiz’s husband arrived at the scene and took his wife to a local hospital. She was ultimately diagnosed with a partial rotator cuff tear and a total dislocation that stretched the deltoid and pectoralis muscles of her right shoulder. Ruiz also claimed lessor to her left knee, right ankle, and right wrist, as well as to her lumbar and cervical spine. Ruiz claimed that her shoulder spontaneously dislocates because of her . She alleged that she requires an immediate capsulorrhaphy and/or shift surgery to stabilize her right shoulder. The surgery was scheduled for June 2014. Ruiz sought recovery of 3,874 for her past medical costs and $270,000 for future medical costs for surgeries and physical therapy. In total, including her pain-and-suffering claim, she sought a total recovery of $450,000. Defense counsel argued that Ruiz’s testimony was not credible, contending that despite Ruiz’s claims that she was on maternity leave from her employer at the time of the incident, other employees at the same facility, including the supervisor and owner of the facility, testified that she was never on maternity leave, never attempted to return to work, and never reported the subject accident to them. The employees claimed that Ruiz was never on leave from her job, but was in fact fired in January 2011, nine months before the accident.
Superior Court of Monterey County, Monterey, CA

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