Case details

Rear-end crash caused lumbar and cervical herniations: plaintiff





Result type

Not present

cervical, fusion, herniated disc, neck
On April 29, 2011, at approximately 1:30 p.m., plaintiff Juvenal Hernandez, 50, a disabled cook, was driving east on Interstate 8, near the Mission Center Road exit in San Diego, when he was rear-ended by a vehicle operated by Juan Pacheco. Hernandez claimed to his neck and back. Hernandez sued Pacheco and the owner of Pacheco’s vehicle, Juan Ricardo. He alleged that Pacheco was negligent in the operation of his vehicle and that Ricardo was vicariously liable for Pacheco’s actions. Pacheco admitted liability for the accident, and the matter proceeded to a trial on causation and damages., Hernandez was taken from the scene of the accident by ambulance and brought to an emergency room. He subsequently underwent MRIs of his neck and back, which revealed cervical and lumbar herniations at the C4-5 and L4-5 levels. Hernandez underwent several weeks of physical therapy and chiropractic care in 2011, and several months of additional physical therapy in 2012. He also received lumbar epidural injections on Nov. 22, 2011, and again on Jan. 4, 2012. However, Hernandez ultimately required a cervical fusion on April 6, 2012, and a lumbar laminectomy on Oct. 9, 2012. Hernandez claimed that he still experiences significant neck and back pain, but that he does not currently seek any treatment for his condition. Thus, Hernandez sought recovery of $61,000 in post-Howell medical costs and approximately $400,000 in pain-and-suffering damages. Defense counsel disputed Hernandez’s damages claims. Counsel contended that Hernandez made a similar set of injury claims after a prior industrial accident on Oct. 19, 2000, after which he received extensive medical treatment and chronic pain care while pursuing a worker’s compensation case against Sea World. Defense counsel also contended that Hernandez has hypochondriasis and, at most, suffered strains and sprains in the motor vehicle accident, which would have only required nonsurgical care.
Superior Court of San Diego County, San Diego, CA

Recommended Experts


Get a FREE consultation for your case