Case details

Defense claimed no future care needed for plaintiff’s neck





Result type

Not present

acupuncture, back, neck, trigger point injection wrist
On Sept. 7, 2018, plaintiff John Cowart, 34, a chemist, was driving in the number two (far left) lane of Balboa Avenue, in San Diego. As he reached the part of the roadway where Balboa Avenue merged with the number one (far right) lane of Grand Avenue, before the intersection with Lamont Street, Cowart’s vehicle was rear-ended by a vehicle operated by Yeqing Chen, who entered the merge from Grand Avenue’s number one lane. Cowart claimed to his neck, and right shoulder and wrist. Cowart sued Chen, alleging that Chen was negligent in the operation of her vehicle. Chen denied liability, noting that the collision occurred shortly after the merge. Defense counsel contended that Cowart cut Chen off in her lane and took away Chen’s stopping distance, which gave Chen no time to be able to stop her vehicle before colliding with Cowart’s vehicle., Cowart claimed he sustained facet pain in his cervical spine at the C4-5 and C5-6 levels, and pain to his right shoulder and right wrist. He presented for chiropractic care three days after the accident, and later underwent acupuncture and physical therapy. It was recommended that Cowart receive facet joint injections in his neck, but he received trigger point injections instead. Cowart claimed that he suffered radiating pain from his neck to his upper back and that the pain interfered with his activities of daily living. He alleged that despite treatment, he still has pain in his neck. The plaintiff’s pain management expert opined that Cowart needs additional therapy. Cowart claimed that he needs future ongoing pain management, including facet joint injections to his neck. Cowart sought recovery of past and future medical costs, and damages for his past and future pain and suffering. Defense counsel contended that there was no mechanism to cause Cowart’s alleged . Although defense counsel conceded that Cowart had a sprain- or strain-type injury to the neck, he denied that Cowart would need any injections. However, counsel contended there was no evidence of any injury to the spine as result of the accident and that any complaints Cowart had were likely pre-existing. The defense’s expert orthopedic surgeon opined that there was no physiological explanation for Cowart’s subjective complaints of pain and that no future care was indicated.
Superior Court of San Diego County, San Diego, CA

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