Case details

Rear-ender aggravated back injuries, plaintiffs claimed




Mediated Settlement

Result type

Not present

cervical, fusion, neck, neurological, radicular pain, radiculitis, sciatica
On Oct. 12, 2010, at approximately 7:55 p.m., plaintiff Orrin Bellinger, 54, was operating a 2004 Kia Optima on southbound La Sierra Avenue in Riverside with his wife, plaintiff Denise Bellinger, 55, as a restrained front seat passenger and their minor granddaughter, plaintiff Annica Galindo, in the back seat. The family was on their way home from Ralph’s supermarket when they came to a complete stop behind the limit line at a red light at the intersection with Victoria Avenue and were rear-ended by a vehicle operated by Sergio Sanchez, who was in the course and scope of his employment with the Riverside Sheriff’s Department. The Bellingers and their granddaughter all claimed back . The Bellingers and Annica’s guardian ad litem, Kristal Collins, sued Sanchez and the county of Riverside. The Bellingers and Collins alleged that Sanchez was negligent in the operation of his vehicle and that the county was vicariously liable for Sanchez’s actions. Sanchez denied being responsible for the accident., The Bellingers claimed the significant force of the collision aggravated their pre-existing conditions and caused Annica’s injury. However, they were not taken to a hospital following the accident. Mr. Bellinger claimed pain to his neck, back and right buttocks as a result of the accident, with burning pain and tingling radiating down his right thigh. He claimed that his pre-existing sciatica was aggravated in the crash, requiring injections and therapy. He also claimed that he is a surgical candidate. Thus, Mr. Bellinger claimed he had past medical costs of approximately $10,000 and would require future care in the amount of approximately $120,000. He also claimed that his vehicle sustained over $5,000 worth of damage. Mrs. Bellinger claimed neck and back pain following the accident. She claimed the incident aggravated her pre-existing neck and back condition. She alleged that she had successfully avoided neck surgery until the collision, after which she required a C5-6 and C6-7 discectomy and fusion. Thus, Mrs. Bellinger claimed she had past medical costs of approximately $99,000 and would require future care in the amount of approximately $120,000. Collins claimed that Annica sustained to her back as a result of the accident. Annica was ultimately treated with an orodispersible tablet containing 4-milligrams of Ondansetron. She was also given heat, and Tylenol or Motrin for pain. Defense counsel disputed the nature and extent of the plaintiffs’ alleged , contending that the low-impact collision caused little or no acute injury. Counsel also contended that Mr. and Mrs. Bellinger’s symptoms were essentially non-traumatic, pre-existing and solely degenerative, and were not caused by the subject collision. Defense counsel also disputed that Annica was injured in any way.
Superior Court of Riverside County, Riverside, CA

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