Case details

Plaintiff’s injuries pre-existed accident, defense argued





Result type

Not present

knee, knees, meniscus, neck, tear neck
On March 29, 2012, plaintiff Mary Hurtado, a medical biller for a physician’s office who was in her 50s, was stopped at a red light in the left turn pocket at the intersection of Magnolia Avenue and East Ontario Avenue when her vehicle was rear-ended by a vehicle operated by Steven Aguilar. Hurtado claimed to both knees and her neck. Aguilar was an intern with the city of Corona and was on his way to deliver documents when the collision occurred. Hurtado sued Aguilar and the city of Corona. Hurtado alleged that Aguilar was negligent in the operation of his vehicle and that the city was vicariously liable for Aguilar’s actions. The matter proceeded to a bench trial. Defense counsel noted that Aguilar was behind Hurtado’s vehicle when the light turned green and a fire truck entered the intersection. Counsel also noted that all of the vehicles stopped for the fire truck, but Aguilar failed to stop quickly enough. Thus, Aguilar conceded liability., At the scene, Hurtado had no significant complaints, but about she presented for medical care one week later. She claimed that she struck her knees on the dashboard, causing her left knee to be more injured than her right. She ultimately claimed she suffered a medial meniscus tear of the left knee and soft-tissue of her neck. Hurtado subsequently underwent rehabilitation and had X-rays taken. A few months later, she underwent an arthroscopy to repair the meniscus tear. Hurtado claimed continued to have residual pain after the surgery, but currently has no complaints. The plaintiff’s orthopedic expert testified that Hurtado’s neck injury was 100 percent caused by the subject accident, but he conceded that the knee injury was only 50 percent caused by the subject accident. Defense counsel asserted that Hurtado admitted her knees while exercising a few days before the subject accident and that evidence of pre-existing neck were noted in medical records. Accordingly, defense counsel argued that all of Hurtado’s were pre-existing and not caused by the subject accident.
Superior Court of Riverside County, Riverside, CA

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