Rear-ender with disputed injuries. $57,000 verdict after $30K offer. Los Angeles County.


Rear-end accident at intersection results in disputed injuries, causation.

The Case

  • Case Name: Villalobos v. Aranda
  • Court and Case Number: Los Angeles Superior Court / MC023611
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Friday, October 31, 2014
  • Date Action was Filed: Monday, July 23, 2012
  • Type of Case: Vehicles - Auto vs. Auto
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Ralph W. Dau
  • Plaintiffs:
    Rick Villalobos, 52, self-employed appliance repairman
  • Defendants:
    Michael Aranda
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: $57,327.93
  • Net Verdict or Award: $57,327.93
  • Contributory/Comparative Negligence: None.
  • Trial or Arbitration Time: 5 days
  • Jury Deliberation Time: 3.5 hours
  • Jury Polls: 12-0

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:

    Glotzer & Sweat, LLP by Steven M. Sweat and Joshua Glotzer, Beverly Hills.

    Alderlaw, P.C. by Lyssa Roberts and Marni Folinsky, Los Angeles.

  • Attorney for the Defendant:

    Mark Weiner & Associates by Cassandra Wentt, Glendale.

The Experts

  • Plaintiff’s Medical Experts:
    Stepan Kasimian, M.D., orthopedic surgery, Glendale.
    Brian King, M.D., radiology, Los Angeles.
  • Defendant's Medical Experts:
    Stephen Rothman, M.D., radiology.
    Richard Rosenberg, M.D., orthopedic surgery.

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    On August 9, 2010, plaintiff was stopped at an intersection in Palmdale. Defendant failed to stop behind him, resulting in a rear end collision. Liability was conceded at the time of trial.

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    That liability was clear and that all injuries claimed were caused by the incident in question.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    Conceded liability but claimed that the injuries were not a result of the incident in question but, either degenerative changes and/or caused by a subsequent motor vehicle accident.

Injuries and Other Damages

  • Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:

    Cervical and lumbar disc protrusions. Torn pectoral muscle.

Special Damages

  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Medical: Approximately $30,000. ($40,000 per defense counsel.)
  • Special Damages Claimed - Future Medical: Future surgery. ($297,000 per defense counsel.)
  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Lost Earnings: None. ($7,000 per defense counsel.)
  • Special Damages Claimed - Future Lost Earnings: None. ($180,000 per defense cousel.)

Additional Notes

The "best and final" offer from defendants was $30,000. Plaintiff demanded the policy limits of $250,000. Both the offer and demand were transmitted via CCP 998 Offers to Compromise.