Case details

Plaintiff claimed shoulder and spinal injuries from collision





Result type

Not present

lower back, neck, right shoulder
On the afternoon of Oct. 7, 2010, plaintiff Claude Bennett, a self-employed man in his 60s, was driving a flatbed truck towing a trailer on Cochrane Road in Morgan Hill. While approaching the intersection at Monterey Road, Bennett was struck on the rear, right corner of his trailer by a vehicle operated by Jane Yuetngor Wong, who was attempting a lane change from Bennett’s right side. Bennett claimed to his neck, lower back, and right shoulder. Bennett sued Mrs. Wong and her husband, Michael Wong, the owner of the vehicle. Bennett alleged that Mrs. Wong was negligent in the operation of her vehicle and that Mr. Wong was vicariously liable for her actions. Bennett claimed that Mrs. Wong attempted to cross multiple lanes of traffic to get into the far left lane in order to make the left turn, but that she did not anticipate his trailer. He claimed that as a result, he suffered severe whiplash when Mrs. Wong’s vehicle went underneath his trailer. Defense counsel initially argued that Bennett made an unsafe lane change just prior to impact., Bennett sustained a torn labrum in his right shoulder, a rib fracture, and soft-tissue to his neck and back. He was subsequently taken by ambulance to an emergency room. Bennett then treated the pain in his shoulder with cortisone injections and underwent two months of physical therapy to treat his neck and back condition. Bennett claimed he does not currently require further treatment for his neck and back , but that he still has “good and bad days.” However, he claimed he continues to suffer pain in his right shoulder, requiring ongoing cortisone injections. Thus, Bennett sought recovery of $25,000 in past medical costs and $100,000 in future medical costs. He also sought recovery of damages for his pain and suffering. Defense counsel argued that all of Bennett’s alleged neck and back symptoms were caused by a pre-existing, degenerative disc disorder that was unrelated to the subject accident. In response, Bennett claimed that while he did suffer from degenerative disc disorder, the subject accident made it symptomatic for the first time.
Superior Court of Santa Clara County, Santa Clara, CA

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