Case details

Shoulder injury existed prior to rear-ender, defense argued





Result type

Not present

injury, rotator cuff, shoulder shoulder, tear
On May 12, 2015, plaintiff Elizabeth Delgado, 57, an employee of the Internal Revenue Service, was stopped at a stop sign in Whittier when her vehicle was rear-ended by a pickup truck operated by Brett Macdonald. Delgado claimed to a shoulder. Delgado sued Brett Macdonald (who was erroneously sued as Brett "McDonald") and the owner of Brett Macdonald’s vehicle, Bruce Macdonald. Delgado alleged that Brett Macdonald was negligent in the operation of his vehicle and that Bruce Macdonald was vicariously liable for Brett Macdonald’s actions. Brett Macdonald admitted liability for the accident., Delgado claimed she sustained a tear of her dominant shoulder’s rotator cuff. She left the accident scene on her own and she presented to Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital, in Whittier, the next day. She ultimately underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair the tear in December 2015. The plaintiff’s experts opined that the subject accident caused Delgado’s rotator cuff tear and subsequent need for shoulder surgery. Delgado claimed that she had to take time off from work to deal with pain after the arthroscopy and that she still has pain in her shoulder now. She alleged that as a result, she will need future medical care. Delgado sought recovery for her past lost earnings, future medical costs, and past and future pain and suffering. Defense counsel noted that the property damage to Delgado’s vehicle was less than $1,000, and contended that Delgado had a rotator cuff tear prior to the subject accident. Thus, counsel argued that the subject collision did not cause Delgado’s rotator cuff tear. The defense’s expert orthopedic surgeon opined that the subject accident did not cause the need for Delgado’s shoulder surgery and that Delgado needed the surgical repair before the subject crash. The defense’s accident reconstruction and biomechanics expert opined that the forces in the subject collision could not have caused any injury to Delgado.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Long Beach, CA

Recommended Experts


Get a FREE consultation for your case