Case details

Plaintiff claimed tractor-trailer’s sudden stop caused collision





Result type

Not present

herniated lumbar disc, lower back, neck, pain, upper
On Oct. 29, 2013, plaintiff Sabino Trejo, 34, a field worker in the Salinas Valley, was driving his 1991 Honda Accord on southbound U.S. Route 101, toward San Juan Road, in Aromas. As Trejo approached the entrance ramp from San Juan Road at freeway speed, a 2008 Freightliner operated by Dalvir Grewal entered the freeway from eastbound San Juan Road, pulled into the far right, number two, lane, and stopped. Trejo braked, but was unable to stop in time. A collision occurred, and Trejo claimed to his neck, and upper and lower back. Trejo sued Grewal and the owner of Grewal’s Freightliner, Northwest Freightways Ltd. Trejo alleged that Grewal was negligent in the operation of the tractor-trailer and that Northwest Freightways was vicariously liable for Grewal’s actions while in the course and scope of his employment. Plaintiff’s counsel contended that Grewal failed to yield the right of way by pulling onto the freeway and making an unexpected stop. Thus, counsel argued that Grewal’s unsafe actions caused the collision. Defense counsel argued that Trejo was negligent for driving 60 mph in a 55-mph zone. Counsel contended that had Trejo been traveling the speed limit, he could have avoided the accident by braking., Trejo claimed he sustained a herniated lumbar disc at the L4-5 level and an injury to his neck. He subsequently was transported by ambulance to a hospital, where he was treated for neck and lower back pain. He then underwent a conservative course of treatment, including physical therapy, home exercises, and epidural injections. Trejo ultimately underwent a lumber decompression and fusion at the L4-5 level. Trejo claimed that despite treatment, he still experiences a great deal of pain and physical limitations. As a result, his treating orthopedist recommended that Trejo undergo reconstruction surgery at L4-5 level, at a cost of $250,000. Thus, Trejo sought recovery of $274,040.92 in past medical costs, $350,000 in future medical costs, and an unspecified amount of damages for his past and future pain and suffering. (He made no claim for past or future loss of earnings.) Defense counsel disputed the extent and nature of Trejo’s past and future medical care. Counsel also disputed the reasonableness of the cost of Trejo’s past and future treatment.
Superior Court of Monterey County, Monterey, CA

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