On March 7, 2002, thirty-three-year-old plaintiff Audrey Peterson, was driving a 1990 Geo Prism at the intersection of Lynwood Avenue and Alvin Drive in Salinas when she stopped at a stop sign to make a right turn. Her daughter, Danyell Anderson, 16, was in the front passenger seat. Both plaintiffs wore seatbelts.
Simultaneously, Oscar Enriquez was driving a 1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee which was registered to his wife, Mary Enriquez. He immediately stopped behind the plaintiff’s vehicle.
Peterson began to make a right turned but stopped again without completing the turn. Enriquez’s Jeep collided with the back of Peterson’s car resulting in $1,512 in property damage with minimal damage to the Jeep.
There was no police investigation and both plaintiffs left the scene of the accident.
The defense alleged Peterson drove her daughter to high-school, returned home, engaged in house-cleaning, cooking and picking her children up from school.
The same afternoon, Peterson filed a two-page driver’s report for a non-injury traffic accident with the Salinas Police Department. Peterson reported damage to the license plate and light damage to the truck of the car. Peterson and Anderson later sued the Enriquezes for vehicular negligence.
Peterson was previously under chiropractic care for a work-related injury to her arm, wrist and neck. However, Peterson was not examined or treated for any complaints from the accident at her chiropractic appointment that day. Peterson’s chiropractor felt an evaluation could wait until her next appointment.
The plaintiffs requested a total of $12,000. The defense argued that the accident did not occur with enough force for the plaintiffs to sustain any injuries.
The jury ruled in favor of the defendant.