Case details

Rear-end collision caused debilitating injuries, plaintiff alleged





Result type

Not present

back, cervical, herniated disc, lumbar, neck
On July 1, 2014, plaintiff Amelia Cisneros, a sales manager in her 40s, was driving on State Route 91, also known as Riverside Freeway, in Corona. Her vehicle’s rear end was struck by a trailing vehicle that was being driven by Sandra Schodt. Cisneros’ vehicle was propelled forward, and it struck the rear end of a preceding vehicle that was being driven by Isabel Alvarez. Cisneros claimed that she suffered of her back and neck. Cisneros sued Schodt and Alvarez. Cisneros alleged that Schodt and Alvarez were negligent in the operation of their respective vehicles. Schodt’s insurer conceded liability, and Alvarez was subsequently dismissed. The matter proceeded to a trial that addressed damages against Schodt., Cisneros claimed that she suffereed herniated cervical and lumbar discs. She underwent physical therapy before being recommended for a series of three epidural injections. Cisneros underwent one set of injections to her neck and back about 1.5 years after the accident, but she claimed that she was worried about the consequences of the injections and did not have the remaining epidural injections. Cisneros’ expert orthopedist opined that Cisneros is a candidate for additional epidural injections and that Cisneros might also be a candidate for further surgery. The expert also testified that he was concerned that if Cisneros suffers additional trauma to her neck she could become paralyzed. Cisneros claimed that she worked through the pain she still had in her neck and back. Plaintiff’s counsel contended that the accident was debilitating for Cisneros, who had no pre-existing conditions. Counsel also contended that Cisneros was previously very active and used to hike the Mount Rubidoux Trail during the week on her lunch break. Cisneros claimed that she now has to sleep in a reclining chair, instead of the bed with her husband, as sleeping flat on her back in the bed hurts her back. Additionally, she claimed that when she comes home from work, she has to rest instead of attending to her children, making dinner or doing other activities. Plaintiff’s counsel asked the jury to award a total of more than $1 million for Cisneros’ past and future pain and suffering. Defense counsel contended that all of Cisneros’ treatment up until the recommendation of the epidural injections was reasonable. Counsel also noted a gap in treatment. The defense’s orthopedics expert opined that all of Cisneros’ treatment up until she had the epidural injections was OK, but that Cisneros is not a candidate for the epidural injections. Defense counsel suggested that the jury could award Cisneros between $15,000 and $20,000.
Superior Court of Riverside County, Riverside, CA

Recommended Experts


Get a FREE consultation for your case