Case details

Plaintiffs claimed sideswipe crash caused spinal injuries





Result type

Not present

back, cervical, herniated disc, lumbar, neck
On Dec, 21, 2010, at approximately 10 a.m., plaintiff Maria Sanchez, 59, an auctioneer, was driving on Interstate 605 in Norwalk, accompanied by her cousin, plaintiff Frank Madrigal, 60, who was in the front passenger seat. When they were just north of the Alondra Boulevard exit, their vehicle was involved in a sideswipe collision with a tractor-trailer truck operated by Jose Laureno. As a result, Sanchez’s vehicle spun 360 degrees and collided with the left shoulder barricade. Sanchez and Madrigal each claimed neck and back from the accident. Sanchez and Madrigal sued Laureno, and the owning entities of the truck and Laureno’s employers, Sweetener Products Inc. and Edna H. Pagel Inc., which was also known as Trans-Freight Services Inc. Sanchez and Madrigal alleged that Laureno was negligent in the operation of the truck, and that Edna H. Pagel Inc. and Sweetener Products Inc. were vicariously liable for Laureno’s actions. Sanchez and Madrigal claimed that Laureno swerved from the middle lane, causing the sideswipe collision to their vehicle, which was in the left lane. They claimed that as a result, the impact caused their vehicle to spin 360 degree and crash into the left shoulder barricade. Laureno claimed that it was Sanchez who swerved into the middle lane, where he was traveling, causing the impact and subsequent crash into the barricade., Sanchez and Madrigal were both taken from the scene of the accident by ambulance and brought to an emergency room, where they made neck and back complaints. They were each diagnosed with multiple disc herniations of the cervical and lumbar spine. On March 21, 2012, Madrigal underwent neck surgery, and on April 11, 2012, Sanchez underwent lower back surgery. They each followed up with physical therapy for several months, as well as received epidural injections and facet block injections. Sanchez and Madrigal claimed that they still experience residual neck and lower back pain, restricting their physical abilities, such as walking for long periods of time, bending, and kneeling. Sanchez claimed that as a result, she went from working full-time to working part-time. However, Madrigal claimed he has not been able to find employment due to his condition. In addition, Sanchez claimed that she requires neck surgery, while Madrigal claimed he still requires lower back surgery. Thus, Sanchez sought recovery of roughly $200,000 in past medical costs, and an unspecified amount of damages for her future medical costs, loss of earnings, and pain and suffering. Madrigal also sought recovery of roughly $200,000 in past medical costs, and an unspecified amount of damages for his future medical costs and pain and suffering. Defense counsel disputed the entirety of the plaintiffs’ alleged damages, arguing that they both suffered from pre-existing conditions and degenerative disc disease. Thus, counsel argued that the plaintiffs’ alleged neck and back were not causally related to the accident.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Norwalk, CA

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