Case details

Riders claimed injuries after motorist struck horses





Result type

Not present

back, lower back
On May 19, 2012, just after midnight, plaintiffs Albert Vasquez, 36, and Mario Curiel, 30, both UPS drivers, were riding horses on Jurupa Road in Mira Loma. At approximately 1:30 a.m., Vasquez’s horse was struck in the rear by a vehicle operated by Stephanie McCray, causing the horse to rear up on the roof of the vehicle and throw Vasquez to the ground. Curiel’s horse also reared up, but he was not thrown from the animal. Vasquez and Curiel each claimed lower back , while Vasquez additionally claimed an injury to his coccyx. Vasquez and Curiel sued Stephanie McCray and her husband, Larry McCray, the owner of the vehicle. Vasquez and Curiel alleged that Ms. McCray was negligent in the operation of her vehicle, for driving inattentively. Mr. McCray was ultimately dismissed prior to closing arguments. Defense counsel argued that Vasquez and Curiel were negligent for riding horses on a road with moving traffic, while also not using any reflective devices. The investigating police report placed fault on Vasquez and Curiel; however, the police officer was not permitted to testify on liability as the court ruled the plaintiffs did not violate the vehicle code by riding horses on the roadway., On the day after the accident, Vasquez went to an emergency room with complaints of lower back and tail bone pain. He claimed he suffered a fracture to his coccyx, and soft-tissue strains and sprains of his lower back. Vasquez subsequently went on to treat with six months of physical therapy. Vasquez missed three months of work while recovering from his . However, he claimed that he continues to experience residual lower back pain at times when he exerts himself, but that he made a good recovery and has returned to all pre-accident activities and hobbies. Thus, Vasquez sought recovery of $7,303 in past medical costs and $14,625 in past lost earnings. He also sought recovery of $21,909 in damages for his past pain and suffering, and $89,589 in damages for his future pain and suffering. Curiel claimed a lower back injury from his horse rearing up. He treated his alleged soft-tissue strains and sprains with six weeks of chiropractic care. Curiel missed three days of work, but he claimed he has fully healed. Thus, Curiel sought recovery of $1,805 in past medical costs, $975 in past lost earnings and $7,500 in damages for his pain and suffering. Defense counsel argued that Vasquez only suffered a contusion to his coccyx. However, counsel ultimately did not present any medical testimony and stipulated to the past medical costs of both Vasquez and Curiel.
Superior Court of Riverside County, Riverside, CA

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