Case details

Plaintiff claimed truck’s unsafe lane change caused crash




Mediated Settlement

Result type

Not present

arm, back, cervical disc bulge, fractures, head, neck, thoracic
On Jan. 17, 2013, plaintiff Jimmy Chandra, 37, a maintenance worker for the Sacramento Unified School District, was driving to work in the number three, eastbound lane of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Highway, also known as Interstate 80, when his vehicle was struck by a semi-tractor-trailer operated by Daniel Chaney. The collision caused Chandra’s vehicle to leave the highway and roll over onto the embankment, coming to rest on its roof. Chandra claimed to his arm, head, neck, and back. Chandra sued Chaney; Chaney’s employer, Anderson Corp. Inc.; and the owner of the semi-truck that was leased by Anderson Corp., Ryder Truck Rentals Inc. Chandra alleged that Chaney was negligent in the operation of the semi-truck and that Anderson Corp. and Ryder Truck Rentals were vicariously liable for Chaney’s actions. Chandra also alleged that Anderson Corp. was liable for Chaney’s actions while in the course and scope of his employment. Chandra claimed that he was a belted driver, traveling alongside Chaney’s tractor-trailer when Chaney suddenly changed lanes. Chandra’s counsel asserted that Chaney failed to observe that Chandra’s vehicle was already established within the number three lane and that if Chaney did turn on his right turn signal, he did so simultaneously as he changed lanes. Thus, counsel asserted that Chaney caused the collision by negligently making an unsafe lane change. Chaney claimed that he was traveling in the number two, eastbound lane and that no vehicles were in the number three lane when he proceeded to change from the number two lane into the number three lane immediately before the collision. He also claimed that he put on his right turn signal before changing lanes, but that as he was changing lanes, the front right tire of the tractor-trailer collided with Chandra’s vehicle., Chandra claimed that he sustained mild compression fractures of the thoracic vertebrae at the T2 and T3 levels, a 3-millimeter cervical disc bulge at the C6-7 level, 2-millimeter lumbar disc bulges at the L4-5 and L5-S1 levels, and a concussion. He was subsequently transported by ambulance to a hospital, where the thoracic fractures and concussion were diagnosed. Chandra was then placed in a Minerva Cervico-Thoracic Orthoses, a brace used to provide immobilization of the cervical and upper thoracic spine, for approximately two months. He then treated conservatively with a few months of physical therapy and injections at a Kaiser facility. However, Chandra claimed the conservative treatment failed to resolve his . Chandra claimed that he was left with residual, daily neck and back pain, as well as residual left arm pain. He alleged that as a result, he was unable to work for 11 months after the collision, but was eventually able to return to full duty. However, he claimed he suffers from pain and discomfort while at work. Chandra eventually came under the care of an orthopedic surgeon, who diagnosed the compression fractures as well as the bulging discs at the cervical and lumbar levels. It was the treating expert orthopedic surgeon’s opinion that the cervical disc bulge at C6-7 was the source of Chandra’s left arm pain. He subsequently recommended a cervical disc replacement at the C6-7 level. He also opined that Chandra might eventually need a lumbar fusion at L4-5, and a posterior thoracic fusion at T1-2, T2-3, and T3-4. Thus, Chandra sought recovery of $32,000 in past loss of wages, $97,000 in past medical costs, and approximately $150,000 in future medical costs. He also sought recovery of damages for his past and future pain and suffering. His wife, plaintiff Kartika Chandra, 35, sought recovery of damages for her loss of consortium. Defense counsel disputed the extent of Mr. Chandra’s and the amount of his alleged damages. Counsel contended that Mr. Chandra’s work included heavy physical labor, including lifting heavy trash, repairs, and light construction. Thus, counsel asserted that Mr. Chandra’s daily neck and back pain were a result of his work activities. The defense’s expert orthopedic surgeon disputed that Mr. Chandra required any future surgeries. In addition, defense counsel noted that Mr. Chandra had no surgeries performed or scheduled.
Superior Court of Sacramento County, Sacramento, CA

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