Left-turn collision results in neck, back injuries. $152K. Los Angeles County.

Summary

Liability is accepted but causation is disputed owing to plaintiff's prior injury accidents.

The Case

  • Case Name: Victor Hernandez v. Cheryl Hyland
  • Court and Case Number: Los Angeles Superior Court / BC615394
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Thursday, May 17, 2018
  • Date Action was Filed: Tuesday, November 08, 2016
  • Type of Action: Vehicles - Auto vs. Auto, Vehicles - Left Turn
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Mark Borenstein
  • Plaintiffs:
    Victor Hernandez, 52, maintenance supervisor for the City of LA.
  • Defendants:
    Cheryl Hyland
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: $152,000
  • Economic Damages:

    Past medical expenses: $33,000

  • Non-Economic Damages:

    Past: $22,000

    Future: $97,000

  • Trial or Arbitration Time: 5 days.
  • Jury Deliberation Time: 3 hours.
  • Jury Polls: Not polled.
  • Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: Plaintiff CCP 998 costs of approximately $35,000.

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:

    Bisnar | Chase, LLP by H. Gavin Long, Newport Beach.

    Paris Law Firm by Eric Paris, Chino Hills.

  • Attorney for the Defendant:

    McClaugherty & Associates by Jay S. McClaugherty, Arcadia.

The Experts

  • Plaintiff’s Medical Expert(s):

    Frank Giacobetti, M.D., orthopedic surgery, Manhattan Beach.

    Hormoz Zahiri, M.D., orthopedic surgery, Los Angeles.

  • Defendant's Medical Expert(s):

    Babak Barcohana, M.D., orthopedic surgery, Van Nuys.

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    Defendant was traveling down El Segundo Boulevard, and made a left-hand turn into a business driveway, colliding with plaintiff as plaintiff was traveling on El Segundo Boulevard in the opposite direction.

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    That defendant violated plaintiff's right-of-way. That plaintiff suffered injuries as a result of defendant driver's negligence in causing the collision.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    That plaintiff was involved in three prior accidents. Plaintiff was involved in the last prior accident one year before the accident at issue. Defendant argued the accident was not a substantial factor in causing harm to plaintiff. If it was, plaintiff suffered soft tissue injuries which should have resolved in 6-8 weeks. Plaintiff had numerous gaps in treatment including not receiving the injections until two years after they were recommended.

Injuries and Other Damages

  • Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:

    Neck and back injuries. Facet injury requiring physical therapy and two injections.

Special Damages

  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Medical: $33,000

Demands and Offers

  • Plaintiff §998 Demand: $50,000 policy limits.
  • Defendant §998 Offer: $25,000

Additional Notes

On the eve of trial the defense tendered the $50,000 policy. Plaintiff refused to accept this late settlement offer. Allstate was defendant's insurance carrier.

Disclaimer

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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