Case details

Plaintiff suffered no new injuries to neck, defense argued





Result type

Not present

cervical, herniated disc, neck
On April 20, 2010, at approximately 3 p.m., plaintiff Ramon Garcia, 59, a retired firefighter, was stopped in his 2001 Lexus RS300 on De Soto Avenue in Chatsworth with his wife as a passenger when their vehicle was rear-ended by a 2008 Lexus IS350 operated by Lori Jukes. At the scene, Garcia denied any , but later claimed to his neck. Garcia sued Lori Jukes and William Jukes, who was believed to be the owner of Ms. Jukes’ vehicle. Garcia alleged that Ms. Jukes was negligent in the operation of her vehicle and that Mr. Jukes was vicariously liable for Ms. Jukes’ actions. Mr. Jukes was ultimately dismissed from the case. Ms. Jukes contended that when she glanced away from the roadway and looked back, she observed Garcia’s vehicle stopped ahead of her. She claimed she then applied the brakes, but was unable to avoid impacting the rear of Garcia’s vehicle. Thus, Ms. Jukes admitted negligence at trial., Garcia claimed he sustained two cervical disc herniations as a result of the accident. He subsequently sought treatment the day after the accident and alleged he required a cervical fusion at two levels. Garcia sought recovery of approximately $350,000, including approximately $12,000 in past medical costs, in excess of $75,000 for his future cervical fusion, and unspecified damages for his past and future pain and suffering. Defense counsel argued that although Ms. Jukes’ vehicle was declared a total loss, Garcia only sustained soft tissue in the accident. Counsel noted that Garcia underwent a cervical fusion three months before the subject accident as a result of prior work related he sustained as a firefighter and that no new disc herniations were present on the MRI scan performed about 18 months after the subject accident. Thus, defense counsel argued that if the jury were to award anything, it should be a verdict in the range of $10,000.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Pasadena, CA

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