Intersection collision, shoulder injury causation disputed. $15K demand rejected. $154,353. Monterey County.

Summary

Defendant’s insurance carrier rejects $15k policy limits demand in intersection collision case that results in $154,353 recovery after jury trial.

The Case

  • 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

The Result

  • 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.)

The Attorneys

  • 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.

The Experts

  • 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

  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Medical: $3,874
  • Special Damages Claimed - Future Medical: $76,000

Demands and Offers

  • Plaintiff §998 Demand: $107,500

Additional Notes

Defendant had a 15/30 policy through Fred Loya Insurance that was demanded before the lawsuit was filed. Defendant offered the $15,000 at the MSC, which was rejected by plaintiff. Plaintiff's CCP 998 demand was $107,500.

Per defense counsel:

Future medical claimed by plaintiff was $140,000 for shoulder surgery and therapy scheduled in June 2014 and additional damages in the same amount for possible repeat surgery because of the severity of laxity and usual failure rate of capsulorrhaphy surgery.

Plaintiff's demand for settlement at trial was $400,000.
 
Post verdict settlement was $149,478.17 for Full Satisfaction of Judgment.

 

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.

© Copyright 2019 by Neubauer & Associates, Inc. All rights reserved. www.juryverdictalert.com