Case details

Crash caused cervical and shoulder injuries: claimant





Result type

Not present

bulging disc, cervical, neck
On June 29, 2014, claimant Jesus Lopez, 46, a legal assistant, was stopped at a red light in the number two lane of westbound Sherman Way, at its intersection with State Route 170, in North Hollywood, when his sedan was rear-ended by a sport utility vehicle operated by an uninsured motorist. Lopez claimed to his neck, left shoulder and lower back. In lieu of filing a lawsuit, Lopez sought recovery via the supplementary-uninsured-motorist provision of his own insurance policy, which was administered by Allstate Indemnity Co., Lopez claimed the accident caused protruding cervical discs, bulging cervical discs, an impingement of the left shoulder, and a lumbar sprain and/or strain. Lopez claimed the subject accident caused a 2 millimeter central disc protrusion at the C3-4 level, a 3 to 4 millimeter central disc protrusion at the C4-5 level, a 2 millimeter cervical disc bulge at the C5-6 level, and a 4 to 5 millimeter cervical disc bulge at the C6-7 level. He also claimed he suffered a lumbar sprain and/or strain. Lopez admitted that he had a prior fracture of the left clavicle, which healed prior to the accident. However, he claimed the accident caused an impingement of the left shoulder as well as a lumbar sprain or strain. Lopez complained of pain two or three days after the accident. He ultimately sought medical treatment on July 10, 2014, when he presented to a Kaiser location with complaints of left arm numbness and left shoulder pain with decreased range of motion in his neck. He also complained of pain with extension, rotation to the left and lateral flexion to the left for his neck. Lopez mentioned the subject collision at the time of the appointment on July 10, 2014. Lopez began chiropractic treatment 11 days later, and he received 25 chiropractic treatments between July 21, 2014, and Oct. 23, 2014. Pursuant to California Rules of Court, Rule 3.823, the parties stipulated to the introduction of documents at an arbitration, in lieu of live expert testimony. Lopez’s expert orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Mark Ganjianpour, reviewed Lopez’s X-ray and MRI results. He opined that the films showed that Lopez suffered cervical disc protrusions at the C3-4 and C4-5 levels, and bulging cervical discs at the C5-6 and C6-7 levels. He also opined that the films showed a left shoulder impingement and a lumbar sprain and/or strain. In addition, Ganjianpour opined that the subject accident was a direct cause of Lopez’s . Lopez alleged that subsequent accidents exacerbated his cervical and shoulder . Lopez sought recovery of past medical costs and damages for his past and future pain and suffering. The respondent’s counsel contended that Lopez’s alleged were pre-existing. Counsel noted Lopez’s previous clavicle fracture, and contended that Lopez had extensive pre-existing cervical spondylosis and degenerative disc disease from C2 to T1, with evidence of previous to the neck seen on imaging studies. The respondent’s expert orthopedic surgeon opined that Lopez sustained a cervical strain, at most, and that Lopez’s treatment was unreasonable and excessive. The expert also opined that there were inconsistencies in Lopez’s medical records and that 12 to 18 visits of physical therapy would have been reasonable.
Matter not filed, CA

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