Housekeeper with fractures, chronic pain syndrome awarded $5.1 million. Imperial County.


Housekeeper, 59, suffers hip, back and ankle fractures after collision with truck, causing multiple surgeries and leaving her with chronic pain syndrome.

The Case

  • Case Name: Gonzalez v. Joe Heger Farms LLC; Jose Maneses
  • Court and Case Number: Imperial County Superior Court / ECU 08139
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Monday, October 19, 2015
  • Date Action was Filed: Friday, March 14, 2014
  • Type of Action: Vehicles - Left Turn
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. L. Brooks Anderholt
  • Plaintiffs:
    Elvia Gomez Gonzalez, 59, housekeeper.
  • Defendants:
    Joe Heger Farms LLC
    Jose Maneses
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: $5,138,359
  • Award as to each Defendant:

    Joint & several

  • Economic Damages:


  • Non-Economic Damages:


  • Punitive Damages:


  • Trial or Arbitration Time: 6 days.
  • Jury Deliberation Time: 4 hours.
  • Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: Tax costs

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:

    Panish Shea & Boyle, LLP by Thomas Schultz, Brian Panish and Spencer Lucas, Los Angeles.

  • Attorney for the Defendant:

    Borton Petrini LLP by Paul Kissel and Jonathan P. Geen, San Diego.

The Experts

  • Plaintiff’s Medical Experts:
    Pablo Pazmino, MD
    Brad Cohen, MD
    Sanjog Pangarkar, MD
    David Duffner, MD
    Michael Bell, MD
    Matthew Kozloff, MD
    R. Khaezani, MD
    Jan Roughan, RN. Life Care Planning.
  • Defendant's Medical Experts:
    Jerome Stenehjem, MD
    Amy Sutton, Ph.D., RN
  • Plaintiff's Technical Experts:
    John Brault, Biomechanical
    Peter Formuzis, Economic
  • Defendant's Technical Experts:
    Richard Holstrom, CPA

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    On the morning of December 6, 2013, plaintiff was proceeding in her car straight on Ferrell Road in Imperial County when a truck being driven by Jose Maneses made a left turn in front of her, resulting in a collision. Defendant Maneses was in the course and scope of employment for Joe Heger Farms LLC at the time of the accident.

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    That defendant was negligent and the cause of plaintiff's injuries.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    Admitted liability, but the nature and extent of future injuries and care were disputed.

Injuries and Other Damages

  • Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:

    Fractured left ankle; dislocated right ankle; fractured left hip requiring replacement; low back disc requiring fusion; multiple soft tissue injuries; future left knee replacement; possible future back surgery; possible future shoulder surgery. Chronic pain syndrome.

  • Inability to return to work as a housekeeper.

Special Damages

  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Medical: $422,255 stipulated.
  • Special Damages Claimed - Future Medical: $2,400,000
  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Lost Earnings: $18,200 stipulated.
  • Special Damages Claimed - Future Lost Earnings: $85,327; Family services $1,000,000.

Demands and Offers

  • Plaintiff §998 Demand: $6,000,000

Additional Notes

Defense admitted past economic damages as well as injuries caused by the accident. Plaintiff's counsel asked for jury award of $19,500,000. Defenses recommended jury award of $3,000,000. Plaintiff did not beat her CCP section 998 offer.


This is not an official court document. While the publisher believes the information to be accurate, the publisher does not guarantee it and the reader is advised not to rely upon it without consulting the official court documents or the attorneys of record in this matter who are listed above.

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