Defendant disputes disc injury after rear-ender. $1.1M. Riverside County.


Heavy dump truck strikes vehicle at stop sign. Defense claims low-impact accident.

The Case

  • Case Name: Manzo v. LGS Transport, Inc., et al.
  • Court and Case Number: Riverside Superior Court / RIC 1906219
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Tuesday, September 21, 2021
  • Date Action was Filed: Tuesday, December 24, 2019
  • Type of Case: Vehicles - Truck vs. Auto, Vehicles – rear-ender
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Daniel A. Ottolia
  • Plaintiffs:
    Raquel Manzo, 53, homemaker
  • Defendants:
    LGS Transport, Inc.
    Daniel Garcia Buenrostro (truck driver)
    Mario Cuellar (vehicle owner)
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: $1,125,000
  • Economic Damages:

    Past meds: $200,000

    Future meds: $125,000

  • Non-Economic Damages:

    Past: $400,000

    Future: $400,000

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

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:

    Panish Shea Boyle Ravipudi LLP by Robert Glassman and Jon Davidi, Los Angeles.

  • Attorney for the Defendant:

    Homan & Stone by Robert Rossi, Redlands.

The Experts

  • Plaintiff’s Medical Expert(s):

    Greg Khounganian, M.D., orthopedic spine surgery, Encino. (Treating physician.)

  • Defendant's Medical Expert(s):

    Donald Kim, M.D., orthopedic spine surgery.

  • Defendant's Technical Expert(s):

    Bradley Rutledge, MS PE, biomechanics and accident reconstruction.

    Nancy Fraser Michalski, RN, billing.

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    On September 28, 2018, plaintiff was stopped at a stop sign in Jurupa Valley, when suddenly and without warning, defendant driver Buenrostro struck the rear of her vehicle with his Peterbilt dump truck. The speed of the collision was an estimated at 3-5mph.

    Plaintiff refused treatment at the scene and visited a clinic a few days later, where she complained of low back pain. Three weeks later, plaintiff began chiropractic treatment for both her neck and her back. She then received two neck injections and two low back injections, none of which provided permanent relief. Plaintiff  then underwent a cervical fusion at C6-7.

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    All of Plaintiff's injuries were related to the subject collision. Plaintiff's medical bills in excess of $300,000 were reasonable, necessary, and related to the subject collision and plaintiff was a candidate for a future cervical fusion at the adjacent level. Her life has been upended as a result of the collision and injuries sustained.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    Defendants admitted liability and admitted plaintiff suffered injury. Defendants disputed that plaintiff suffered a disc injury because the force of the collision could not have caused a disc injury, and instead contended that she suffered a soft tissue injury to her neck and back that required chiropractic care/physical therapy only. Defendants contended the reasonable value of plaintiff's past medical bills was $65,000.

Injuries and Other Damages

  • Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:

    Cervical disc herniation at C6-7. Lumbar facet arthropathy.

Special Damages

  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Medical: $373,000
  • Special Damages Claimed - Future Medical: $250,000

Demands and Offers

  • Plaintiff Final Demand before Trial: $1,000,000 policy
  • Defendant §998 Offer: $415,000
  • Defendant Final Offer before Trial: $430,000

Additional Notes

Defendant's insurer: Progressive