Freeway rear-ender. Defense, with cost award of $39K. Orange County.
After a long series of demands and offers, this one went to trial. And there was a WC lien.
- Case Name: Gilbert Badillo v. Daniel Bonelli
- Court and Case Number: Orange County Superior Court / 30-2017-00942453
- Date of Verdict or Judgment: Wednesday, May 29, 2019
- Type of Action: Vehicles - Freeway, Vehicles – rear-ender
- Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Geoffrey Glass
- Plaintiffs: Gilbert Badillo
- Defendants: Daniel Bonelli
- Type of Result: Jury Verdict
- Gross Verdict or Award: Defense. The jury found the accident was not a substantial factor in causing plaintiff’s harm.
- Trial or Arbitration Time: 8 days.
- Jury Deliberation Time: 1 day.
- Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: Defendant was awarded costs in the amount of $39,397.28
- Attorney for the Plaintiff:
Frank P. Barbaro & Associates by Nazy Nassiri, Santa Ana.
- Attorney for the Defendant:
Gates, Gonter, Guy, Proudfoot & Muench, LLP by Gina Y. Kandarian-Stein, Irvine.
- Plaintiff’s Medical Expert(s):
Timothy Noble, D.C., chiropractic.
Michael J. Gruba, M.D., physical medicine.
- Defendant's Medical Expert(s):
Douglas Kiester, M.D., orthopedic surgery/biomechanics.
- Plaintiff's Technical Expert(s):
- Defendant's Technical Expert(s):
Alvin Lowi, III, P.E., accident reconstruction.
Facts and Background
- Facts and Background:
On September 8, 2015, plaintiff was driving a Ford Explorer westbound on the 91 freeway when he was rear-ended by defendant’s vehicle, a Chevrolet Avalanche. Plaintiff was in the course and scope of his employment at the time of the accident and there was a worker’s compensation lien.
The property damage was minor. Plaintiff’s vehicle sustained $3,176 in damage and defendant’s vehicle sustained $948 in damage.
Defendant admitted liability.
- Plaintiff's Contentions:
That the collision caused injury to plaintiff.
- Defendant's Contentions:
Defendant argued plaintiff did not have complaints at the scene and that he left the scene and went to work as a carpenter on the day of the accident.
Defendant’s expert, orthopedic surgeon Douglas Kiester, M.D. testified the chiropractic treatment plaintiff received was not reasonable or necessary and that plaintiff was not injured in the accident nor was his condition made worse. Dr. Kiester also qualified as a biomechanic expert. In this regard, Dr. Kiester testified the forces in the accident were not sufficient to cause any injuries to plaintiff.
Injuries and Other Damages
- Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Plaintiff alleged he sustained injuries to the neck and low back, including numbness and tingling down the right arm.
He had a significant history of chronic neck and low back pain and degenerative disc disease dating back to 2000 and an underlying condition of idiopathic skeletal hyperstosis. He was in a car accident in 2000 in which he sustained injuries to the neck and low back, requiring physical therapy.
Plaintiff treated with a chiropractor and also received treatment at Kaiser Permanente.
- Special Damages Claimed - Past Medical: $11,720
- Special Damages Claimed - Past Lost Earnings: $4,324.12
On January 22, 2018, plaintiff served a C.C.P. Section 998 offer in the amount of $800,000.
On April 30, 2018, defendant served a C.C.P. Section 998 offer in the amount of $2,001.99.
On August 31, 2018, defendant served a C.C.P. Section 998 offer in the amount of $3,001.99.
On September 14, 2018, plaintiff served a C.C.P. Section 998 offer in the amount of $12,500.
On September 21, 2018, defendants offered $250,000.
On October 26, 2018, plaintiff served a C.C.P. Section 998 offer in the amount of $10,000.
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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