Case details

Rear-ender caused lumbar disc bulge, plaintiff alleged




Mediated Settlement

Result type

Not present

back, bulging disc, fusion, lumbar, neck, nerve impingement, neurological
On March 13, 2009, at approximately 3:30 p.m., plaintiff LaRhonda Davis, 28, a hair braider, was driving a sedan on a roadway in San Bernardino County. When she stopped due to traffic ahead of her, she was rear-ended by a van that was traveling behind her. Davis sued the driver and his employer. She alleged that the driver was negligent in the operation of his van and that since he was operating it in the course and scope of his employment, his employer was vicarious liability for the driver’s actions. Plaintiff’s counsel asserted that the employee caused the accident by failing to keep a proper lookout. Defense counsel acknowledged that the defendants were somewhat liable, but argued that Davis was comparatively liable. Counsel noted that Davis should not have been driving a vehicle since she did not have a driver’s license at the time of the rear-ender. Defense counsel added that both vehicles involved in the accident sustained minor property damage, but that the employee was not traveling fast enough to cause the physical damage that Davis claimed., Davis was taken by ambulance to a hospital with soft-tissue to her back and neck. An X-ray revealed no fractures. Subsequent diagnostic testing revealed a 4-millimeter disc bulge with impingement in her lumbar spine. After months of conservative treatment, including epidural injections, Davis’ pain did not resolve. She then underwent a lumbar fusion to repair the disc bulge, followed by various months of physical therapy. Davis sought recovery of damages for her medical costs, and pain and suffering. She did not make a wage-loss claim.
Superior Court of San Bernardino County, San Bernardino, CA

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