Case details

Plaintiff: Meniscal tear caused by crash with drunken driver




Mediated Settlement

Result type

Not present

knee, medial meniscus, tear
On Jan. 11, 2010, at approximately 5:54 p.m., plaintiff Tracey Mathershed, an unemployed 43 year old, was stopped in traffic on westbound Clinton Avenue when her vehicle was rear-ended by a vehicle operated by Misty Frias-Douglas. Mathershed claimed knee and spinal from the crash. Mathershed sued Frias-Douglas and the vehicle’s owner, Gary Douglas. She alleged that Frias-Douglas was negligent in the operation of her vehicle and that Douglas was vicariously liable for her actions. Plaintiff’s counsel contended that Frias-Douglas was highly intoxicated and was on the roadway after having a late afternoon of drinks prior to the subject rear-ender. Counsel asserted that prior to the subject accident, Frias-Douglas approached the stopped vehicles on Clinton Avenue, crashed her vehicle into a vehicle that was trying to turn out of the lane, and then continued driving straight in a quick, violent and intoxicated manner until she plowed into the back of Mathershed’s vehicle, nearly tearing off the entire back bumper. The defendants did not contest liability., Mathershed was taken from the scene by ambulance and brought to a hospital. She claimed severe to her neck, back and both knees. After undergoing an MRI, it was discovered that Mathershed had incurred a medial meniscus tear of the left knee. She also claimed an exacerbation of a prior back injury and pain in both knees, in addition to the meniscal tear. Roughly one year after the accident, after trying physical therapy and other less invasive medical treatment, Mathershed was instructed to undergo a meniscectomy to help repair her knee. Mathershed related medical expenses came to roughly $70,000. She also sought recovery of damages for her pain and suffering. Defense counsel contended that it would be improbable to incur a knee injury of the type, nature and extent of Mathershed’s in a rear-end accident. Instead, counsel attributed Mathershed’s to her pre-existing degenerative changes. Defense counsel also contended that Mathershed’s knee surgery was unwarranted and not casually related to this accident, and that, assuming that it was related, the bills were excessive.
Superior Court of Fresno County, Fresno, CA

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