Case details

Plaintiff’s alleged neck strain should have healed, defense argued





Result type

Not present

brain syndrome, chronic neck pain, headaches, neck strain, post-concussion
On Feb. 25, 2012, plaintiff Emilia Ruiz de Vasquez, a house cleaner in her 40s, was driving on High Street, in Alameda, when it was rear-ended by a vehicle operated by Patrick Brown. Ruiz de Vasquez claimed to her neck. Ruiz de Vasquez sued Patrick Brown and the owners of Patrick Brown’s vehicle, Peter Brown and Sue Lafferty Brown. Ruiz de Vasquez alleged that Patrick Brown was negligent in the operation of his vehicle and that Peter Brown and Sue Lafferty Brown were vicariously liable for Patrick Brown’s actions. The Browns ultimately conceded liability., Ruiz de Vasquez claimed that she sustained a neck strain, resulting in chronic neck pain, and post-concussion syndrome as a result of the accident. Ruiz de Vasquez was taken by ambulance to a hospital, where she complained of a neck strain. She then followed up with her physicians at a Kaiser Permanente facility and was treated for her neck strain problems. However, during her Kaiser visits, she mentioned continued headaches. As a result, her attorney sent her to a neuropsychologist, who allegedly found some cognition issues and diagnosed her with post-concussion syndrome. Ruiz de Vasquez ultimately treated with a few months of physical therapy and visits to a pain management specialist. The plaintiff’s treating neuropsychology expert opined that Ruiz de Vasquez’s cognitive issues were due to the subject accident. Ruiz de Vasquez claimed that she continues to suffer from chronic neck pain and post-concussion syndrome. She also claimed that she suffers anxiety and depression as a result of the accident. Ruiz de Vasquez further claimed that she now cleans fewer houses as a result of her , resulting in a past and future loss of wages. Defense counsel argued that if Ruiz de Vasquez suffered any from the accident, it was just a minor cervical strain and nothing more. The defense’s expert neuropsychologist opined that Ruiz de Vasquez might have some minor anxiety, but no post-concussive syndrome. In addition, the defense’s expert orthopedic surgeon opined that Ruiz de Vasquez’s alleged neck strain should have healed by the end of the year.
Superior Court of Alameda County, Oakland, CA

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