Case details

Crash caused chronic pain and psychological problems: plaintiff





Result type

Not present

bulging disc, cervical, fusion, mental, neck, psychiatric, psychological
On Aug. 29, 2016, plaintiff Oralia Michel, 34, a pre-surgery coordinator/insurance verifier, was driving on the southbound side of Interstate 405, also known as the San Diego Freeway, in Inglewood. As she stopped for traffic near the overpass for West Hillcrest Boulevard, her sport utility vehicle was rear-ended by a tractor-trailer operated by Robert Navarro. The force of the collision caused Michel’s vehicle to be pushed into the vehicle in front of her. Michel claimed to her neck. Michel sued Navarro and Navarro’s employer, J Deluca Fish Co. Inc., which also owned the tractor-trailer. Michel alleged that Navarro was negligent in the operation of the tractor-trailer and that J Deluca Fish Co. was vicariously liable for Navarro’s actions. Plaintiff’s counsel contended that Navarro failed to drive at a reasonable speed and failed to pay attention to traffic. Defense counsel initially tried to place fault on third-party defendants., The force of the collision caused Michel to hit her forehead on the steering wheel and then hit the back of her head on her seat, causing her to suffer neck pain. Michel underwent MRIs and was diagnosed with bulging cervical discs at the C3-4, C4-5, C5-6, and C6-7 levels. She initially underwent physical therapy and pain management. However, she eventually underwent a bilateral laminectomy and foraminotomy at the C6-7 level; posterior fusion and posterior instrumentation at the C3-4, C4-5, C5-6, and C6-7 levels; and two sets of bilateral cervical medial branch nerve block injections to the facet joints at C4-5, C5-6, and C6-7. Michel claimed she developed post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the accident. She also claimed she developed major depressive disorder with a single, moderate episode of anxious distress and other psychological factors. She alleged that she required psychiatric treatment as a result. Michel further claimed that she suffers from chronic pain as a result of her cervical as well as chronic pain-related depression and anxiety. She alleged that she will need further psychological evaluation and counseling as a result of her ongoing psychological condition. Defense counsel disputed the treatment of Michel’s .
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles, CA

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