Los Angeles Daily Journal Reports on $500,000 Settlement for Victim Injured by US Army Vehicle Collision

Decem Yuen v. United States of America, Lenora Herendeen (CV-09-05951-CAS)

Hon. Christina A. Snyder USDC Central

TOPIC: Personal Injury

SUB TOPIC: Auto v. Auto

FURTHER DESCRIPTION: Lane Change Collision

SETTLEMENT: $500,000


Plaintiff – Sark Ohanian (Carpenter, Zuckerman & Rowley, LLP, Los Angeles).

Defendant – Terrence M. Jones (Office of the U.S. Attorney, Los Angeles) for USA; John Sciacca (Powers & Miller, Sacramento) for Herendeen.

FACTS: This matter arose out of an Aug. 27, 2007 car crash on Interstate 15 near Victorville. In this area, the I-15 has three lanes in both directions. Plaintiff Decem Yuen was driving eastbound in the far left lane and defendant Lenora Herendeen was traveling in the center lane. A military convoy, operated by the U.S. Army’s 25th infantry, entered the freeway from the rightmost on-ramp traveling at a low speed.

One of the U.S. Army Humvees in the convoy negligently deviated from the convoy and changed lanes from the far right lane to the center lane, and in doing so, the Humvee cut-off Herendeen. In trying to avoid colliding with the Humvee, Herendeen overcompensated and moved into the plaintiff’s lane, striking her vehicle. Plaintiff’s car flipped over the highway’s dividing wall, and came to rest in oncoming traffic.

INJURIES: Plaintiff sustained injuries to her lumbar spine and cervical spine. The MRI finding of the cervical spine showed a post-traumatic herniated cervical disc at C4-5 of 2-3 mm and sub 2 mm disc bulges at C3-4 and C5-6. The MRI finding for the lumbar spine showed a 4-5 mm central disc protrusion at L4-S1 with facet hypertrophy and a small synovial cyst as well as a 2 mm disc bulge at L4-5. Plaintiff underwent a cervical three-level disc replacement surgery.

RESULT: The case settled for $500,000 ($450,000 paid by the USA; $50,000 paid by Herendeen). OTHER INFORMATION: INSURER: USA is self-insured; Herendeen was insured with State Farm.