Case details

Rear-ender caused spinal injury and vehicle damage: plaintiffs





Result type

Not present

back, neck, soft tissue, sprains, strains
On the evening of May 6, 2009, plaintiff Roddy Miller, 43, was driving south on Saratoga Avenue in Saratoga with his wife, plaintiff Sally Miller, 38, in the front passenger seat. At approximately 7:50 p.m., while stopped at a red traffic light at the intersection of Fruitvale Avenue, the Millers were rear-ended by a vehicle operated by Christine Dan Thu Ngoc Le. Mr. Miller claimed property damage to his vehicle, while Mrs. Miller claimed to her neck and back. The Millers sued Christine Le and the believed owner of the vehicle, Patricia Le. However, Patricia Le was later dismissed from the case. The Millers claimed that Christine Le was negligent in the operation of her vehicle by driving inattentively. Christine Le admitted liability for the accident. The parties then waived their right to a jury trial, and the matter proceeded to a bench trial on causation and damages., A few days after the accident, Mrs. Miller treated her neck and back complaints with her general practitioner. She was diagnosed with soft-tissue strains and sprains and received therapeutic treatment from her doctor for a year and a half. Mrs. Miller claimed that while she was physically restricted in the initial months following the accident, she is now fully recovered from her . Thus, she only claimed $1,130 in past medical costs and sought $14,000 in damages for her past pain and suffering. Mr. Miller did not claim any and only sought recovery for the damage to his vehicle. Thus, he claimed $9,819 in property damage and sought $14,500 for the loss of the vehicle’s use. Defense counsel contended that Mrs. Miller failed to present a prima facie case, since she did not present any medical expert testimony at trial to prove causation. Counsel further contended, by way of expert testimony, that Mr. Miller’s property damage was $6,060, with a loss of use of only $500.
Superior Court of Santa Clara County, Santa Clara, CA

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