Case details

Defense claimed plaintiff had gaps in treatment for neck





Result type

Not present

cervical chest, head, headaches neck, neck, strain, whiplash
On June 20, 2018, plaintiff Nereida Briseno, 28, an educational services evaluator, was driving north on North El Dorado Street, in Stockton, when the front of her vehicle collided with the front of a vehicle operated by Britt Lippincott, who was attempting a left turn from southbound North El Dorado Street onto eastbound East Churchill Street. Briseno claimed to her neck. Briseno sued Lippincott and the alleged owner of Lippincott’s vehicle, Ean Holdings, LLC. Briseno alleged that Lippincott was negligent in the operation of his vehicle and that Ean Holdings was vicariously liable for his actions. Ean Holdings was ultimately dismissed from the case, and Lippincott admitted liability for the accident., Briseno claimed she sustained a cervical strain, and contusions to the chest wall, back and a finger. She was picked up at the scene and she presented to a Kaiser emergency room later that day. All of her films were normal, and she was diagnosed with a cervical strain, and contusions to her chest, back and finger. Briseno was eventually discharged from the hospital and she began treatment chiropractic treatment nine days later. She ultimately saw a chiropractor 24 times over three months. Even though Briseno did not undergo any care for 2.5 years after she stopped chiropractic treatment, she claimed she suffered headaches, post-traumatic stress, numbness and tingling. She eventually went back to another chiropractor in 2021 and had 13 more chiropractic sessions until she stopped care in August 2021. Briseno claimed that she continues to have neck problems on a daily basis, particularly when bending over, and that she is unable to sleep because of it. She also claimed that her issues come and go for a few seconds up to several hours at a time. Defense counsel made motions in limine to preclude plaintiff’s counsel from having any doctor testify about Briseno’s alleged medical condition and to preclude plaintiff’s counsel from having any medical bills put before the trial, as plaintiff’s counsel allegedly did not comply with expert disclosures. Defense counsel also filed a motion for nonsuit. The court granted defense counsel’s motion in limine, but denied the motion for nonsuit. As a result, Briseno only sought recovery of non-economic damages for her past and future pain and suffering. Defense counsel noted that although no medical experts testified at trial and no one talked about future care, Briseno claimed at trial that she made another appointment for her neck the day before she testified. Defense counsel questioned whether Briseno was injured at all due to the minimal amount of treatment she received, the gap in treatment, and because Briseno only seemed to need treatment when litigation was occurring. Specifically, counsel noted that Briseno went for medical care when there were discovery responses and that Briseno made the appointment for her neck before she had to testify at trial. Defense counsel also questioned why Briseno did not present the chiropractors or their medical records. As such, defense counsel argued that Briseno did not meet the burden to establish her injury, but that if she did, then Briseno should only be awarded a small amount of general damages.
Superior Court of San Joaquin County, Stockton, CA

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