Case details

Crash caused only minor spinal injuries, defense argued





Result type

Not present

cervical, disc protrusion, neck
On April 19, 2012, at approximately 7:45 a.m., plaintiff Enidh Lara, 32, a medical office receptionist, was stopped for a red light on Doliva Road, at the intersection with Clairemont Mesa Boulevard in San Diego, when her vehicle was rear-ended by a pickup truck operated by Hector Sanchez. Lara claimed to her neck and back. Lara sued Sanchez and the San Diego Unified School District, Sanchez’s employer and owner of the pickup truck. Lara alleged that Sanchez was negligent in the operation of the pickup truck and that school district was vicariously liable for Sanchez’s actions. The defendants admitted liability for the accident, and the matter proceeded to a trial on damages., The day after the accident, Lara went to an emergency room with neck and back complaints. She underwent an MRI and was diagnosed with a significant disc protrusion at C7. She subsequently treated with her primary care doctor, underwent physical therapy, and received a series of epidural injections. Lara claimed that while her back condition has resolved, she still experiences significant pain and discomfort in her neck. She claimed that as a result, she is now limited in all recreational activities and will eventually require facet joint injections. Thus, Lara sought $25,000 in past medical costs, $5,000 in future medical costs, and $100,000 for her pain and suffering. Defense counsel disputed the nature and extent of Lara’s alleged and damages. Counsel argued that Lara suffered only soft-tissue strains and sprains of her neck and back, and that her medical treatment was excessive and unreasonable. Defense counsel also argued that Lara’s medical costs should not have exceeded $2,500 and that Lara does not need for future care. Counsel further argued that Lara failed to mitigate her damages by going out-of-network to treat with two attorney-referred physicians.
Superior Court of San Diego County, San Diego, CA

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