Case details

Plaintiff claimed shoulder, back and neck injuries from rear-ender





Result type

Not present

injury, left shoulder, lower back, neck, rotator cuff, shoulder, tear
On Oct. 19, 2011, plaintiff Paula Buenrostro, 50, a production worker in a candy factory, was driving on Interstate 580, in Castro Valley, when she was struck by a vehicle operated by Donna Austin. Buenrostro claimed to her left shoulder, neck, and lower back. Buenrostro sued Austin, alleging that Austin was negligent in the operation of her vehicle. Austin initially denied liability, but she ultimately conceded liability for the rear-end accident a few weeks before trial., Approximately one month after the accident, Buenrostro sought treatment with a chiropractor, who noted that Buenrostro had complaints of pain to her left shoulder, neck, and lower back. Buenrostro treated with the chiropractor for approximately four months and then presented to an orthopedic surgeon for further treatment. After undergoing conservative treatment, which included physical therapy and painkilling injections to her shoulder, Buenrostro underwent surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff in her left shoulder on April 23, 2013. Buenrostro claimed that the surgery went well, but that her rotator cuff suffered another tear during post-surgical physical therapy. As a result, a second surgery to repair the shoulder was performed on Oct. 7, 2014. She then followed up with her treating orthopedic surgeon. Buenrostro initially took off from work for a period of 375 days, at the recommendation of her treating orthopedic surgeon, but was eventually able to return to work. However, Buenrostro claimed that despite treatment, she continues to experience some pain and limitation in her left shoulder and lower back. Thus, Buenrostro sought recovery of $52,380 for her past loss of wages and in excess of $130,000 for her medical costs. She also sought recovery of damages for her pain and suffering. Defense counsel contended that, at most, Buenrostro sustained minor sprain/strain to her neck and lower back, all of which should have resolved with the initial chiropractic treatment. Counsel also denied the alleged shoulder injury was caused by the accident.
Superior Court of Alameda County, Oakland, CA

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