Defendant company admits liability in rear-ender and disputes some of the injuries. $2.1M. Sacramento County.


Defendants argued that plaintiff's subsequent accident, five years after subject accident, was the primary cause of her ongoing symptoms.

The Case

  • Case Name: Tatiana Savenco v. Brinks, Inc.
  • Court and Case Number: Sacramento Superior Court / 34-2017-00214025
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Friday, February 03, 2023
  • Date Action was Filed: Tuesday, June 13, 2017
  • Type of Case: Vehicles – rear-ender
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Kenneth C. Mennemeier
  • Plaintiffs:
    Tatiana Savenco
  • Defendants:
    Brinks, Inc.
    Christopher Tamburo
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: $2,109,710.84
  • Economic Damages:

    Past medical expenses: $284,710.84

  • Non-Economic Damages:

    Past: $875,000

    Future: $950,000

  • Trial or Arbitration Time: 3 days
  • Jury Deliberation Time: 5 hours
  • Jury Polls: 12-0 economic damages, 11-1 past non-economic damages, 10-2 future non-economic damages
  • Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: Plaintiff has filed a cost bill of $211,964, including pre-judgment interest for beating her CCP 998 offer.

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:

    Schaar & Silva, LLP by Dan C. Schaar, Campbell.

    Law Office of Richard F. Antoine by Richard F. Antoine, Sacramento.

  • Attorney for the Defendant:

    Law Offices of Sheldon J. Warren by Sheldon Warren, Long Beach.

    Dani Rogers, Encino.

    Messing Adam & Jasmine LLP by James W. Henderson, Jr., Sacramento.


The Experts

  • Plaintiff’s Medical Expert(s):

    Phillip Orisek, M.D., orthopedic surgery, Folsom.

    April Stallings, RN, CLCP, life care planning.

  • Defendant's Medical Expert(s):

    Bruce McCormack, M.D., neurosurgery, San Francisco.

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    In 2015, plaintiff, 28 years old at the time, was a passenger in a vehicle that was rear-ended while stopped at a red light. Plaintiff underwent years of conservative care (chiropractic care, physical therapy, and injections) before undergoing two separate cervical disc replacement surgeries with Dr. Phillip Orisek, after which she made a good recovery.

    After her second surgery plaintiff was involved in a second rear-end crash in which she underwent approximately three months of conservative chiropractic care.

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    That although she had made a reasonable recovery after her two surgeries, she was left with ongoing low-level (2 out of 10) pain in her neck and upper back, which would last the rest of her life. There was no further surgical recommendation, so she would need to manage her pain with massages and occasional physical therapy for the rest of her life.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    The defense admitted they were 100% at fault for the crash, and the need for the first cervical disc replacement. The defense attempted to argue that the second surgery could have been due, in part, to pre-existing degeneration; that plaintiff made an excellent recovery, evidenced by the fact that in the three years before trial, plaintiff had only seen her treating surgeon two times, both within the six months before trial.

    Additionally, that since there was no wage loss claim being made, that plaintiff's injuries were not as severe as claimed. Finally, the defense argued that her subsequent accident in June of 2020 (after the second surgery) was the primary cause of her ongoing symptoms, rather than the 2015 subject crash. The defense also contended that some of the past medical expenses were unreasonable.

Injuries and Other Damages

  • Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:

    Cervical disc herniations at C4-5 and C5-6 requiring cervical disc replacements.

Special Damages

  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Medical: $284,710.84
  • Special Damages Claimed - Future Medical: Waived
  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Lost Earnings: Waived
  • Special Damages Claimed - Future Lost Earnings: Waived

Demands and Offers

  • Plaintiff §998 Demand: $1,025,000
  • Plaintiff Demand during Trial: $2,000,000
  • Defendant §998 Offer: $500,000

Additional Notes

The Court issued an order excluding defense retained expert, Bruce McCormack, from offering any opinions at trial on the reasonable value of past medical expenses, based upon Dr. McCormack's lack of qualifications in this area.

The defendant was self-insured.

Update: Post-trial, but before the ruling on the motion to tax, the parties agreed to settle the case for $2,325,000.