Case details

Plaintiff claimed shoulder and spinal injuries from sideswipe




Mediated Settlement

Result type

Not present

back, neck, shoulder
On Sept. 23, 2010, at approximately 5:15 p.m., the plaintiff, a 53-year-old nurse, was driving on State Route 85 in Saratoga when a vehicle, which was merging from the carpool lane into the plaintiff’s left lane, sideswiped her. The merging vehicle also struck two other vehicles, and the plaintiff claimed to her neck, back and left shoulder from the accident. The plaintiff sued driver of the merging vehicle and the owners of the merging vehicle, the driver’s parents. The plaintiff alleged the driver of the merging vehicle was negligent in the operation of her vehicle and that the driver’s parents were vicariously liable for her actions. Plaintiff’s counsel contended that the operator of the merging vehicle, a newly licensed driver who wasn’t supposed to be in the carpool lane, made an unsafe lane change from the carpool lane, causing the accident. Counsel also noted that the driver of the merging vehicle was cited for causing the accident by making an unsafe lane change. The defendants did not dispute liability for the accident., On the day after the accident, the plaintiff went to her primary care physician with complaints of neck, back and left shoulder pain. She was subsequently told to take ibuprofen, and was referred to a physical therapist when the pain did not subside. The plaintiff then treated with physical therapy from October 2010 to December 2010. Thereafter, she followed up with her primary care doctor in June 2011 and underwent an MRI of her neck, which showed irritation at the C7-8 level. As a result, the plaintiff was referred to a physiatrist in July 2011, and then received epidural injections in September 2011 and November 2011. The plaintiff claimed she still has some residual neck pain, but that she has been able to resume her normal activities and did not plan to seek any further treatment. Thus, she sought recovery of $7,252.85 in past medical costs (per Howell) and an unspecified amount of damages for her pain and suffering. Defense counsel noted that in the plaintiff’s discovery responses, she originally claimed $14,000 in past medical costs and claimed she may require additional medical treatment, the duration and cost of any which were unknown at that time. However, defense counsel contended that the plaintiff only suffered minor soft-tissue , including a cervical strain. Counsel also contended that the plaintiff’s should have resolved after her physical therapy concluded in December 2010, and that any treatment thereafter, including her pain management and epidural injections, was unrelated to the subject accident.
Superior Court of Santa Clara County, San Jose, CA

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