Case details

Plaintiff claimed shoulder tears and brain damage from crash





Result type

Not present

brain, brain injury, chronic pain, cognition, face, facial laceration, mental, nose, psychological, right ankle, shoulders, traumatic brain injury
On Oct. 16, 2013, plaintiff Albert Camarillo, 58, the owner of a pool service company, was driving a 2004 Ford F-150 pickup truck on the southbound side of Lander Avenue, also known as State Route 165, in Stevinson, an unincorporated section of Merced County. As Camarillo proceeded into the intersection with River Road, his vehicle’s driver’s side was struck by a 2004 Volvo two-axle truck that was hauling two utility flatbeds and was westbound on River Road. Camarillo’s vehicle was subsequently pushed approximately 200 feet, before stopping on a dirt field. Camarillo claimed of his shoulders and face, as well as claimed cognitive impairments. Camarillo sued the driver of the other vehicle, Concepcion Munoz-Munoz, and the vehicle’s owner, SVT Logistics Inc., Munoz-Munoz’s employer. Camarillo also sued Sun Valley Transport Inc. and G3 Enterprises Inc., corporate entities that had performed contracting work with the SVT Logistics, but the claims against them were dismissed with prejudice on the first day of trial. The matter then proceeded to a trial against SVT Logistics and Munoz-Munoz. Camarillo alleged that Munoz-Munoz was negligent in the operation of his vehicle and that SVT Logistics was vicariously liable for Munoz-Munoz’s actions. Specifically, Camarillo claimed that Munoz failed to stop at a stop sign at the intersection. Munoz-Munoz conceded liability, and the matter proceeded to a trial that addressed damages., Camarillo claimed he sustained bilateral tears of his right, dominant and left, non-dominant shoulder’s rotator cuffs. He also claimed he suffered a traumatic brain injury, resulting in cognitive deficits, and facial lacerations. Camarillo was extricated from his truck, placed in an ambulance, and taken to the Emergent Care Center at Memorial Medical Center, in Modesto. He complained of pain that stemmed from his head, face, shoulders, and right ankle. He subsequently underwent X-rays and CT scans, and Camarillo was instructed to follow up with his primary care physician. The next day, Camarillo presented to his primary care doctor, and he was referred for MRIs. After he was diagnosed with a full thickness tear of his right, dominant shoulder’s rotator cuff, Camarillo was recommended for a course of physical therapy. Treatment was rendered three times per week over a period of two months. On Jan. 9, 2014, Camarillo underwent arthroscopic surgery of his right shoulder with debridement of the glenohumeral joint and open rotator cuff reconstruction of the supraspinatus and infraspinatus tendons. After the surgery, he underwent a course of conservative treatment with a physical therapist from Feb. 2, 2014 to March 31, 2014, to address ongoing difficulties with the use of his right and left shoulders. Camarillo did not undergo surgery for his left shoulder, but addressed his alleged chronic pain through home exercises and physical therapy. Camarillo contended that he sustained a traumatic brain injury, which caused permanent impairments of his cognition and memory function. He claimed that he suffered from cognitive deficits and memory loss after the collision and that the deficits were causally related to the crash. The plaintiff’s treating neuropsychology expert opined that Camarillo’s cognitive impairments were caused by the collision. She also opined that Camarillo’s deficits are permanent and that they resulted in the loss of 10 IQ points. Plaintiff’s counsel called six percipient witnesses, each who testified that Camarillo showed signs of cognitive changes, including irritability and memory loss, at home and in his performance of routine activities and hobbies. The parties stipulated that Camarillo’s past medical costs totaled approximately $73,487. Camarillo also sought recovery of damages for his past and future physical pain and mental suffering. Defense counsel admitted that Munoz-Munoz was responsible for Camarillo’s shoulder , but disputed causation of Camarillo’s alleged cognitive impairments. The defense’s expert neuroradiologist testified that the changes on Camarillo’s MRI images demonstrated advanced atrophy, which was consistent with a brain of an individual decades older. Thus, the expert opined that the images explained Camarillo’s memory and other cognitive issues, which were unrelated to the accident. The defense’s expert neurologist opined that aside from the advanced atrophy, Camarillo’s symptoms, which included hand tremors, were consistent with early-stage Parkinson’s disease. He also opined that 75-percent of Parkinson’s patients develop cognitive issues, which is consistent with having that disease.
Superior Court of San Joaquin County, Stockton, CA

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