Case details

Plaintiffs: Light rail crash caused physical and emotional injuries




Mediated Settlement

Result type

Not present

ear neck ankle, emotional distress, head, mental, neurological, psychological, thoracic outlet syndrome
At around 6 p.m. on Feb. 3, 2016, plaintiff Holly Uhler, 33, was driving on Folsom Boulevard, in Rancho Cordova, with her two sons, plaintiff Nash Uhler, 3, and plaintiff Cade Uhler, 1, riding in the back seat. At the intersection with Hazel Avenue/Nimbus Road, Ms. Uhler had a green arrow and turned onto Nimbus Road, where she began to cross the Sacramento Regional Transit District’s light rail tracks. While she was crossing the tracks, the light rail vehicle slammed into the driver side of Ms. Uhler’s vehicle at approximately 45 mph. Ms. Uhler’s husband, and Nash and Cade’s father, plaintiff Brian Uhler, 30, was standing on the train platform and witnessed the collision between the light rail vehicle and his family’s vehicle. The Uhler family sued Sacramento Regional Transit District. They claimed the light rail vehicle ran a red light. They claimed the light rail vehicle entered the intersection while the guardrail arms were in the upright, vertical position and while there were no lights or sirens flashing. The family alleged that the driver of the light rail vehicle was negligent and that Sacramento Regional Transit District was liable for the driver’s actions. The Sacramento Regional Transit District accepted liability for the collision., Ms. Uhler and her sons, Nash and Cade, were transported by ambulance to UC Davis Medical Center, in Sacramento, for full emergency examinations. Nash and Cade suffered minor contusions. They were subsequently treated and released from the hospital. Ms. Uhler complained of pain to her neck, back, head, an ankle and an arm. She was also treated and released from the hospital. However, in the days after the collision, Ms. Uhler developed severe ear pain. She then developed thoracic outlet syndrome approximately 15 months after the collision, and claimed that her condition caused lung embolisms and deep vein thrombosis in her left arm. As a result, Ms. Uhler was treated with blood thinners and ultimately underwent surgery to remove her first rib and muscle tissue in order to treat her lung embolisms. Ms. Uhler claimed that her medical conditions were all caused by the collision and that she also suffered from severe emotional distress as a result of the incident. The plaintiffs’ expert vascular surgeon opined that the collision was the inciting cause of the thoracic outlet syndrome even though it presented 15 months after the collision. Mr. Uhler claimed that he also suffered from emotional distress as a result of witnessing the life-threatening collision involving his family. He also sought recovery for his loss of consortium due to his wife’s and treatment. Defense counsel denied that Ms. Uhler’s were caused by the collision.
Superior Court of Sacramento County, Sacramento, CA

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