Unsafe lane change said to cause back/shoulder injuries requiring surgery. $292K. Los Angeles County.


Defendant denies extent of injuries and necessity of medical services. Plaintiff beats CCP 998; defendant also refused policy limits offer.

The Case

  • Case Name: Rogelio Ruiz v. Deanna Pollard
  • Court and Case Number: Los Angeles Superior Court / 18STCV05807
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Monday, July 18, 2022
  • Date Action was Filed: Wednesday, November 21, 2018
  • Type of Case: Vehicles - Lane Change
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Gregory Alarcon
  • Plaintiffs:
    Rogelio Ruiz
  • Defendants:
    Deanna Pollard
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: $292,974.89
  • Economic Damages:

    Past medical expenses: $77,974.89 

    Future medical expenses: $0

  • Non-Economic Damages:

    Past: $200,000

    Future: $15,000

  • Trial or Arbitration Time: 5 days
  • Jury Deliberation Time: 2 hours

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:

    Law Offices of Stuart Berkley by Benjamin G. Berkley and Stuart B. Berkley, Encino.

    Carpenter & Zuckerman by Steven L Mazza, Beverly Hills.

  • Attorney for the Defendant:

    Mark R. Weiner & Associates by Jose R. Paz, Glendale.

The Experts

  • Plaintiff’s Medical Expert(s):

    Arthur Kreitenberg, M.D., orthopedic surgery. 

  • Defendant's Medical Expert(s):

    Robert Wilson, M.D., orthopedic surgery. 

    Henry Lubow, M.D., billing.

  • Defendant's Technical Expert(s):

    Lloyd Martin, accident reconstruction/biomechanics.

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    Plaintiff was driving a 2017 Range Rover Discovery Sport on January 5, 2018 on the northbound 405 freeway. Defendant drove a 2010 Toyota FJ Cruiser. Plaintiff contended that defendant made an unsafe lane change. Plaintiff alleged injuries to his neck, right shoulder, right wrist, and back.

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    That plaintiff suffered multiple injuries due to the crash and that all treatment was necessary and reasonable.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    Defendant admitted liability but disputed the nature and extent of the injuries as well as the value of the past medical services as well as the necessity of those medical services.

Injuries and Other Damages

  • Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:

    Injuries to neck, right shoulder, right wrist, back.   Treatment included emergency room, MRIs, pain management including a cervical epidural injection as well as three injections to the right shoulder and ultimately, right shoulder surgery.

Special Damages

  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Medical: $87,974.89
  • Special Damages Claimed - Future Medical: $0
  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Lost Earnings: $0
  • Special Damages Claimed - Future Lost Earnings: $0

Demands and Offers

  • Plaintiff §998 Demand: $150,000
  • Plaintiff Final Demand before Trial: $250,000 policy limits
  • Defendant §998 Offer: $75,000

Additional Notes

Plaintiff made a statutory demand for $150,000.in 2019 and demanded $250,000 policy limits upon getting recommended for surgery and having the surgery. Defendant’s best offer was a statutory offer of $75,000 in 2022.

Insurer: State Farm