Case details

SUV driver was faced with sudden emergency, defense argued





Result type

Not present

back, cervical, herniated disc, lumbar, neck
During a rainy day on Jan. 6, 2016, plaintiff Deborah Rose, 53, a grocery store checker and bookkeeper, was driving in the number two lane, of five lanes, on northbound U.S. Route 101, also known as the Redwood Highway, in San Rafael. When Rose was near the exit for North San Pedro Road, the passenger side of her vehicle was struck by a Toyota RAV4 sport utility vehicle that was operated by Ronnie Attia, who lost control of his vehicle as he attempted to take the next exit. Rose then lost control of her own vehicle, which spun and hit the freeway wall on the right shoulder. She claimed to her neck and back. Rose sued Ronnie Attia and the owner of the SUV, Diana Attia. Rose alleged that Mr. Attia was negligent in the operation of his SUV and that Ms. Attia was vicariously liable for Mr. Attia’s actions. Rose claimed that Mr. Attia was negligent for failing to control his vehicle and avoid the collision. Mr. Attia claimed that he hit a puddle of water, causing his vehicle to hydroplane out of the far right, number five lane and across the lanes to his left. Defense counsel argued that Mr. Attia was not negligent because he was faced with a sudden emergency when he lost control of his vehicle., Rose claimed that she sustained herniated cervical and lumbar discs, as well as a thoracic vertebra fracture. She presented to an emergency room at a hospital on the day of the accident. She took six months off of work while she treated with physical therapy, chiropractic treatment and acupuncture. She was evaluated by an orthopedic surgeon, who opined that Rose needed a cervical disc replacement, also known as arthroplasty, and a thoracotomy with disc replacement in two areas of the mid-back. The plaintiff’s medical experts opined that Rose had pain as a result of the accident and that Rose requires the disc replacement surgeries to treat her neck and back. Rose claimed that she was going to undergo both the neck and back surgery and that she would have to take time off work after each surgery. She also claimed that she would have additional pain and suffering after each surgery. Rose alleged that she could not run in races or marathons due to the accident and that she has ongoing pain in her neck and back. After taking approximately six months off work, she returned to work. Plaintiff’s counsel asked the jury to award Rose $886,621 in total damages, including $16,158 in past medical expenses, $100,000 in future medical expenses, $13,627 in past lost wages for the six months of work that she missed, $301,786 in damages for her past pain and suffering, and $455,050 in damages for her future pain and suffering, inclusive of any pain and suffering she will endure after undergoing two surgeries plus any residuals for the rest of her life. The defense’s neurosurgery expert opined that although Rose still had pain, she would not benefit from the surgeries. As a result, the expert opined that Rose did not need the surgeries.
Superior Court of Marin County, Marin, CA

Recommended Experts


Get a FREE consultation for your case