In mid-September of 2016, Harrison & Hull attorneys Richard Harrison and Matthew Mumm defended their client Victor-Hugo Garduno-Carreno in the 429th District Court, Collin County, Judge Jill Willis presiding. They prevailed with a $0 judgment against their Client.

Facts + Allegations

As reported by Verdict Search, on April 18, 2013, Plaintiff Godwin Arisa, 62, an accountant, was on the southbound service road of Highway 75, between 15th Street and Plano Parkway, in Plano. It was morning. Traffic slowed down, and Arisa braked. Victor-Hugo Garduno-Carreno, who was behind Arisa in a 1998 Dodge Durango, braked but was unable to stop in time. He rear-ended Arisa’s sedan, pushing it into the back of a sports utility vehicle that was stopped ahead. Arisa claimed neck and back injuries and headaches.

Arisa sued Garduno-Carreno for negligently failing to keep a proper lookout, failing to control his speed, following too closely, and failing to brake or turn to avoid the collision.

Injuries / Damages

Plaintiff went to the emergency room on the day of the accident. He claimed headaches, as well as disc bulges in his neck and back. On May 13, he started chiropractic treatment. The chiropractor referred him to a pain management specialist on June 14. The chiropractor released Arisa from care on July 2, after 17 visits.

On Nov. 23, 2015, Arisa saw another medical doctor and complained of continuing neck and back pain. The doctor ordered neck and back MRIs, which showed bulges at multiple levels, as well as stenosis. At a follow-up visit in December, the doctor suggested epidural steroid injections.

Arisa sought $15,842.95 for past medical bills, as well as damages for future medical bills, past and future pain and suffering, and past and future physical impairment. He sought a total of $65,097.

The defense questioned whether Arisa sustained any injuries. On June 14, the same day he presented to the pain management specialist, Arisa also presented to his primary care doctor. In apparent contradiction of the pain management doctor’s records, the primary care doctor’s records did not mention the accident, and they reflected that the examinations of Arisa’s neck and musculoskeletal system were normal. The defense called the treating chiropractor to the stand, and she could not explain these discrepancies. In addition, she acknowledged that they made her “wonder what was going on with this patient,” defense counsel said. Defense counsel also pointed to the gaps in treatment.

The defense also argued that the impact was minor. Photos showed damage to the front and back of Arisa’s vehicle, but the damage rating in the police report was 1 on a scale of 0 to 7. In addition, Arisa was referred by an attorney to the chiropractor, as well as to the medical doctor he saw in November 2015, and the defense argued that the case was attorney-driven.