Intersection collision involving three vehicles, back injury. $660K. Los Angeles County.

Summary

Plaintiff handily beats CCP 998 demand.

The Case

  • Case Name: Marcia Arreola v. Susan Hanson
  • Court and Case Number: Los Angeles Superior Court / BC600875
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Tuesday, November 20, 2018
  • Date Action was Filed: Thursday, November 12, 2015
  • Type of Action: Vehicles - Auto vs. Auto, Vehicles - Intersection
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Mary Ann Murphy
  • Plaintiffs:
    Marcia Arreola, 48.
  • Defendants:
    Susan Hanson, John Ella
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: $660,000
  • Award as to each Defendant:

    Hanson: $660,0000.  Other defendant settled out.

  • Economic Damages:

    Pad Medical Expenses: Waived

    Future Medical Expenses: $100,000

  • Non-Economic Damages:

    Past: $140,000

    Future: $420,000

  • Trial or Arbitration Time: 5 days.
  • Jury Deliberation Time: 3 hours.
  • Jury Polls: 11-1
  • Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: Plaintiff will pursue $163,000 in prejudgment interest and $48,000 in costs for beating the CCP 998 for the Hanson policy limits of $30,000.

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:

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

  • Attorney for the Defendant:

    Biesty, Garrety & Wagner by James Biesty, Los Angeles.

The Experts

  • Plaintiff’s Medical Expert(s):

    Kendal Wagner, M.D., orthopedic surgery, Fullerton.

    Gerald Alexander, M.D., spine surgery.

  • Defendant's Medical Expert(s):

    Robert Freundlich, M.D., neurology, Encino.

  • Plaintiff's Technical Expert(s):

    Beau LeBlanc, accident reconstruction.

  • Defendant's Technical Expert(s):

    Russell Gish, accident reconstruction, Los Angeles.

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    On December 23rd, 2014, a motor vehicle collision occurred between plaintiff Marcia Arreola and defendants Susan Hanson and John Austin Deapera Ella. The collision occurred at the intersection of Norwalk Blvd. and Artesia Blvd., in the city of Cerritos.

    Plaintiff Marcia Arreola was stopped at a light, facing westbound on Artesia when the crash happened. Hanson was traveling eastbound on Artesia and Ella was traveling northbound on Norwalk when they collided. Hanson and Ella each claimed they had green lights when they collided. The force of their collision pushed their vehicles into plaintiff's vehicle.

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    That Hanson ran the red light, causing the collision. 

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    Hanson claimed Ella ran a red light (Ella tendered its $25,000 policy limits before trial).  As to injury, Hanson claimed plaintiff suffered a cervical strain/sprain; surgery was unnecessary. Also, that plaintiff had not treated for three years since the crash.

Injuries and Other Damages

  • Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:

    Aggravation of pre-existing neck pain and cervical degeneration making her a surgical candidate. Plaintiff had not had surgery by the time of trial.

    Per defense counsel:

    Dr. Alexander testified plaintiff's bulging disc at C5/6 pressed on the spinal cord as well as impinged the exiting nerve root causing radicular and diffuse symptoms in the arms and legs. At C3/4 a disc arthroplasty was needed. Defense doctor testified that the accident caused radicular left arm symptoms and that her pain was permanent. Surgery was not indicated because of the diffuse nature of her symptoms.

Special Damages

  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Medical: Waived.
  • Special Damages Claimed - Future Medical: $100,000

Demands and Offers

  • Plaintiff §998 Demand: $30,000 Hanson (Allstate) policy limits, served May, 2016.

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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