Intersection collision, shoulder injury causation disputed. $15K demand rejected. $154,353. Monterey County.
Defendant’s insurance carrier rejects $15k policy limits demand in intersection collision case that results in $154,353 recovery after jury trial.
- Case Name: Delores Ruiz v. Rebecca Truijillo
- Court and Case Number: Monterey County Superior Court / M119273
- Date of Verdict or Judgment: Friday, April 18, 2014
- Date Action was Filed: Thursday, August 09, 2012
- Type of Action: Vehicles - Intersection, Vehicles - Left Turn
- Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Robert O'Farrell
- Plaintiffs: Delores Ruiz, 29, nurse
- Defendants: Rebecca Truijillo
- Type of Result: Jury Verdict
- Gross Verdict or Award: $127,347.00 plus CCP 998 costs: $24,556, interest: $2,450. Settled post-trial (see notes).
- Contributory/Comparative Negligence: 0
- Economic Damages:
Past Medical: $3,874
Future Medical: $76,000
- Non-Economic Damages:
Past Pain & Suffering: $27,500
Future Pain & Suffering: $20,000
- Trial or Arbitration Time: 5 days
- Jury Deliberation Time: 3.5 hours
- Jury Polls: 12-0 liability; 10-2 damages; 9-3 comparative negligence
- Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: CCP 998 costs of $24,566, $2,450 in interest. (Per defense counsel: $19,924 plus interest of $2,450 totaling $22,374.)
- Attorney for the Plaintiff:
Bisnar | Chase, LLP by H. Gavin Long, Newport Beach.
- Attorney for the Defendant:
Leach & McGreevy, LLP by Richard McGreevy, San Francisco.
- Plaintiff’s Medical Experts: Christian Foglar, M.D. orthopedic surgery, San Jose.Mario Teering, treating physical therapist, Salinas.Perry Secor, M.D., treating urgent care doctor, Los Alamitos.
- Defendant's Medical Experts: Dr. Jeffrey Holmes, M.D., orthopedic surgery, San Jose.
Facts and Background
- Facts and Background:
On September 22nd, 2011, plainitff and defendant collided on Bernal Avenue in the City of Monterey.
- Plaintiff's Contentions:
That defendant turned left in front of plaintiff, causing a collision; that defendant failed to yield the right of way.
- Defendant's Contentions:
That this was a head-on collision at 35-40 mph and air bag deployment in both vehicles. Defendant claimed that plaintiff was speeding and could have avoided the collision.
Injuries and Other Damages
- Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Aggravation of pre-existing ligamentous laxity of the shoulder joint resulting in pain and functional limitations including instability, decreased range of motion, decrease in strength with “popping” and “clunking”. Shoulder surgery was recommended.
Per defense counsel: Derangement of right shoulder requiring capsulorrhaphy and inferior shift surgery. Plaintiff and her doctor denied any prior ligamentous laxity and testified shoulder was normal and asymptomatic prior to the accident. Plaintiff was fully employed as a certified nursing assistant lifting patients prior to the accident. All shoulder laxity was caused by the impact from the air bag deployment and impact with steering wheel. Right knee and right ankle contusion injuries.
- Special Damages Claimed - Past Medical: $3,874
- Special Damages Claimed - Future Medical: $76,000
Demands and Offers
- Plaintiff §998 Demand: $107,500