Case details

Crash did not cause plaintiff’s alleged soft tissue injuries: defense





Result type

Not present

back, neck, shoulder, soft tissue
On Aug. 13, 2012, plaintiff Gwenda Perez, an auto repair shop owner in his 40s, was driving in the number three, right-most lane of Wilshire Boulevard, in Los Angeles. As she approached the intersection with Ridgeley Drive, her vehicle was sideswiped by a vehicle operated by Marisol Felix, who was attempting a lane change. Perez claimed to her neck, back, and one shoulder. Perez sued Felix, alleging that Felix was negligent in the operation of her vehicle. Felix admitted liability., Following the crash, the police were not called, and Perez did not seek treatment at the scene. Instead, she waited for a tow truck and then rode with the tow truck driver back to her job at an auto glass repair company, which she owned and where she did touch up work for retail companies. Eighteen days after the incident, Perez presented to a chiropractor with complaints of pain to her neck, back, and one shoulder. She claimed she sustained soft tissue to her neck, back, and a shoulder, and subsequently began chiropractic treatment. The plaintiff’s treating chiropractor testified as to Perez’s soft tissue . Perez claimed that despite treatment, she continues to suffer pain in her neck, back, and a shoulder. She alleged that she was an excellent athlete prior to the crash and that she never fully regained her abilities after the incident. Specifically, she claimed that she was a good softball player, but that her level dropped significantly after the crash. In addition, Perez claimed that she was impacted emotionally from not being able to participate in some sports or compete at the same level that she did before. Thus, Perez sought recovery of $4,680 in past medical costs for the chiropractic treatment. She also sought recovery of damages for her past and future pain and suffering. Defense counsel denied the nature, extent, and reasonableness of the treatment Perez received. Counsel contended that if Perez sustained any in the crash, they were only minor soft tissue that should have resolved. Defense counsel presented three photographs of Perez that had been posted on Facebook after the collision: One showed Perez playing softball; one showed Perez doing a handstand at the beach; and one appeared to be Perez swinging on a trapeze. Furthermore, defense counsel focused on the activities Perez continued to participate in following the crash, namely a Mud Run and a Spartan Race. Thus, counsel argued that Perez did not have any continuing neck, back, or shoulder problems. The defense’s expert chiropractor opined that Perez should have been healed and that Perez was now fine. He also opined that a reasonable amount of chiropractic bills would have been between $1,500 and $1,800.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Van Nuys, CA

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