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Los Angeles County Prisoner Settles Shoulder Injury Claim For $10,000

On December 24, 2001, a man who claimed his shoulder was injured when a Los
Angeles County court bus abruptly stopped settled his lawsuit for $10,000.
Plaintiff Leo Vargas, a 47-year-old auto mechanic, was riding a county
court bus in the process of being released from the county jail. According
to Vargas, the deputy driving the bus "slammed on his brakes" when he
scraped a metal security gate upon entering a staging area. The bus was
traveling about 5 miles per hour. Vargas claimed that he was forced to
brace himself on the seat in front of him with his left arm and that his
knee also hit the front seat.

Vargas sued the county claiming that he suffered a tear in his left
shoulder as a result of the accident and sought damages for lost wages and
medical expenses. Vargas retained experts Charles J. Samo, P.E. of
Huntington Beach (biomechanics) and Ronald Glausman, M.D. of Tarzana
(orthopedic surgery).

The defendants admitted liability but claimed Vargas exaggerated his
injuries. X-rays performed at the jail following the accident and by a
private doctor two months following his release revealed no injuries. Five
months after the accident, however, an MRI revealed a tear of the
supraspinatus tendon. Vargas underwent a left shoulder arthroscopy on
February 21, 2001.

The county settled for $10,000 before trial. Vargas was represented by Gene
J. Goldsman of Santa Ana, California. See: Vargas v. County of Los Angeles,
Central Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Case No. BC 231 681.

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Related legal case

Vargas v. County of Los Angeles

no case text.