Case details

Defense argued plaintiffs did not require future care





Result type

Not present

back pain, neck, soft-tissue injuries
On Oct. 26, 2012, plaintiff Sheila Magante, a leasing agent for an apartment complex in her 40s, was driving her vehicle on Olympic Parkway, in Chula Vista, with her daughter, plaintiff Sherilyn Magante, a student and retail worker in her 20s, seated in the front passenger seat. Their vehicle was ultimately rear-ended by a vehicle operated by Gloria Martin. The Magante vehicle was deemed a total loss due to heavy damage, and the Magantes both claimed to their neck and back. Sheila Magante and Sherilyn Magante sued Martin, alleging that Martin was negligent in the operation of her vehicle. Martin admitted liability., Sheila and Sherilyn Magante each claimed soft tissue to their neck and back. Sheila Magante subsequently treated at a Sharp urgent care the day after the accident. Both Sheila and Sherilyn Magante saw a physician, and underwent physical therapy and chiropractic treatment from October 2012 to April 2013. Sheila and Sherilyn Magante claimed that despite treatment, they each continued to suffer neck and back pain, making it difficult for them to sit or drive for long periods of time. They also both claimed ongoing muscle spasms and that their respective pain was chronic and ongoing. As a result, they both claimed that they would require future medical treatment. However, Sherilyn Magante claimed that in addition to her physical , she suffered from severe emotional distress as a result of the collision. She alleged that she no longer wanted to drive on the street where the collision occurred, though Olympic Parkway was close to her residence. She also alleged that she wanted to change her plans for what school to attend, due to its proximity to the roadway. Plaintiffs’ counsel contended that the rear-end impact was so severe that the front end of the Magnate vehicle was pushed under the rear bumper of the Ford pickup truck in front of it. The plaintiff’s property damage appraiser testified that approximately 2 feet of the front of the Magante vehicle was pushed under the Ford, which crumpled the Magante vehicle’s hood. In addition, plaintiffs’ counsel noted that Sherilyn Magante’s high school friend was killed in a motor vehicle accident at the same location. The plaintiffs’ pain management expert opined that both Sheila and Sherilyn Magante had ongoing symptoms and that they would each need some future treatment because their condition stayed the same and did not improve. He also opined that the Magantes’ pain would be chronic and always there on some level. Thus, Sheila Magante sought recovery of $74,850 in total damages as a result of her physical . Sherilyn Magante sought recovery of $130,100 in total damages as a result of her physical and emotional . Defense counsel accepted that the Magantes required eight weeks of medical treatment, but disputed the Magantes’ alleged general damages, future treatment, and emotional distress. Counsel contended that the Magantes’ alleged should have been resolved after eight weeks of treatment and that neither plaintiff sought any treatment since 2013. Thus, defense counsel contended that the Magantes would probably not start treatment again in 2016. The defense’s expert orthopedic surgeon opined that treatment that Sheila Magante and Sherilyn Magante received for their back and neck pain was reasonable, but that any future treatment would not be reasonable.
Superior Court of San Diego County, San Diego, CA

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