Case details

Defense claimed minor crash could not have caused injuries





Result type

Not present

back, bilateral, injuries, knee, neck, pain, soft tissue
At around 5 p.m. on Nov. 20, 2013, plaintiff Madison Kirby, 16, an employee of Subway restaurants, was operating her mother’s vehicle with a driver’s permit while her mother, plaintiff Molly Mikesell, 37, a self-employed hairstylist, was a front seat passenger. While they were traveling on North Torrey Pines Road, in La Jolla, they were rear-ended by a vehicle operated by Francisco Chinol. Madison claimed to her neck, back and knees, while Mikesell claimed to her neck and back. Mikesell and Madison, who was acting through her guardian ad litem, Michael Kirby, sued Francisco Chinol and the registered owner of Mr. Chinol’s vehicle, Sara Chinol. Mikesell and Madison alleged that Mr. Chinol was negligent in the operation of his vehicle and that Ms. Chinol was vicariously liable for Mr. Chinol’s actions. Mr. Chinol ultimately admitted liability., Madison and her mother, Mikesell, first presented to their treating chiropractor on Dec. 9, 2013. Madison claimed that she suffered soft-tissue to her neck and back, as well as suffered bilateral knee pain. She subsequently underwent chiropractic treatment, resulting in bills totaling $2,755. Madison claimed that she missed time from work at Subway, resulting in an unspecified amount of lost earnings. She also claimed she can no longer go on amusement park rides like she used to because they hurt her back. Mikesell also claimed that she suffered soft-tissue to her neck and back, and also underwent chiropractic treatment for her . She claimed that her chiropractic bills totaled $2,680. At trial, Mikesell claimed she still can no longer run long distances or work out like she used to. She also claimed that, as a self-employed hairstylist, she suffered a loss of earnings in the amount of $8,500 due to not being able to work for three weeks. In closing statements, plaintiffs’ counsel asked the jury to award $38,930 in total damages to Madison and $47,505 in total damages to Mikesell. Mr. Chinol testified about how the accident involved a low-speed impact. Defense counsel contended that the plaintiffs could not have been injured in the accident because the damage to the vehicles was minor, noting that the repair estimate for Mikesell’s vehicle was approximately $1,400, while Mr. Chinol’s damage estimate was $606. Defense counsel also noted that the plaintiffs first presented to their treating chiropractor 18 days after the accident and that they did not first see their primary care physician. Accordingly, counsel asserted that plaintiffs’ counsel referred Madison and Mikesell to the treating chiropractor to create medical bills for litigation. Defense counsel also added that there were gaps in treatment and no X-rays taken during any of the times the plaintiffs presented for treatment. In addition, counsel noted that neither plaintiff had any documentation of their alleged missed time from work. The defense’s chiropractic expert found that Mikesell’s and Madison’s alleged chiropractic were too similar, including the same findings and , despite the age difference between the two. Defense counsel added that even though the plaintiffs complained of problems at trial, they both said that they were fine, had no residual and required no further treatment during their depositions. In addition defense counsel contended that the plaintiffs’ treating chiropractor admitted that he charged the plaintiffs more than he would a normal patient who paid in cash.
Superior Court of San Diego County, San Diego, CA

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