Case details

Rear-ender caused soft-tissue injuries, plaintiff claimed





Result type

Not present

neck, soft tissue, sprains shoulder, strains
On Sept. 15, 2009, at approximately 5 p.m., plaintiff Amy Hartman, a teacher’s aide in her 40s, was driving on Treat Avenue in Concord when she was rear-ended mid-block by a vehicle operated by Paul Johnson. Hartman claimed to her neck and right shoulder as a result of the crash. Hartman sued Mr. Johnson and the owner of the vehicle, the driver’s mother, Anita Johnson. Hartman alleged Mr. Johnson was negligent in the operation of his vehicle and that his mother was vicariously liable for his actions. Ms. Johnson was ultimately dismissed from the case since her son was an insured on the vehicle. Hartman claimed that Mr. Johnson was driving too fast on what was known to be a very traffic-heavy, congested street. She also claimed that Mr. Johnson’s failure to observe that the traffic in front of him had stopped caused the rear-end collision. Mr. Johnson admitted liability for the accident., Hartman was taken from the scene of the accident by ambulance and brought to an emergency room with complaints of neck and right shoulder pain. She was subsequently treated and released, but continued treating with physical therapy through Kaiser Permanente. Hartman also underwent an MRI of her right shoulder, which was negative, and opted for exploratory surgery. In total, she treated her soft-tissue strains and sprains for six months. Hartman claimed she still experiences soreness in her neck, making certain tasks difficult, such as typing and needle work. She alleged she missed a few days of work for doctor appointments, but that she does not currently seek further treatment. Hartman conceded that her shoulder injury (and $30,000 in medical specials) was not caused by the accident. However, she claimed $5,000 in past medical costs for the treatment of her neck injury and sought recovery of additional damages for pain and suffering. Defense counsel contended that Hartman only suffered from minor soft-tissue , and that her shoulder surgery was unnecessary and unrelated to the accident.
Superior Court of Contra Costa County, Contra Costa, CA

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