Case details

Bicyclist claimed accident ended soccer dreams





Result type

Not present

back, bulging disc, cervical, chronic neck, herniated disc, lower back, lumbar, lumbar spine, neck, neurological, pain, radiculopathy
On July 30, 2012, plaintiff Alexander Both, 20, was riding his bicycle along Heritage Way, in Tustin. As he attempted to cross Tustin Ranch Road, the left side of his bike was struck by a vehicle operated by Jesus Elizarra-Lopez, who was making a left turn, on a green light, from Heritage Way onto Tustin Ranch Road. Both subsequently fell off the bicycle and onto the street. He alleged that he sustained permanent to his cervical and lumbar spine. Both sued Elizarra-Lopez, alleging that Elizarra-Lopez was negligent in the operation of his vehicle. Elizarra-Lopez conceded liability., Both was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital, where he was treated for a series of abrasions and a hairline laceration, for which he received sutures. He was diagnosed with lumbar disc bulges at the L3-4, L4-5 and L5-S1 levels. However, he was ultimately diagnosed with a lumbar disc herniation at the L5-S1 level with pain transversing the nerve root and extending down into his right leg. Both subsequently received chiropractic care and was prescribed pain medication. He also received epidural injections of a steroid-based painkiller at the affected levels. Both claimed that as a result of his , he experiences chronic neck and lower back pain. He alleged that as a result, he is unable to work or pursue a student athletic career as a Division 1 soccer player. Two former Division 1 soccer players testified on Both’s behalf as to his skill prior to the accident and the plaintiff’s expert economist projected that Both’s future economic losses would total approximately $2 million. Thus, Both sought recovery of damages for his past and future pain and suffering, past and future medical expenses, and future loss of earnings. Defense counsel disputed the extent of Both’s alleged . Counsel maintained that Both’s 2-millimeter disc bulges were too small to cause any consequential permanent injury. Defense counsel noted that both the plaintiff’s expert neurosurgeon and the defense’s expert spinal surgeon agreed that Both’s disc bulges were minor and would not keep him out of work. In addition, defense counsel entered into evidence video footage of Both performing activities, such as household chores, without any visible limitation.
Superior Court of Orange County, Orange, CA

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