Case details

Defense claimed plaintiff’s epidural injections were unnecessary





Result type

Not present

head, headaches neck, herniated disc, neck, neurological, radicular pain, radiculitis
On Oct. 17, 2012, plaintiff Nadia Coy, 35, a dental assistant, was driving a 2005 Honda Civic on Temecula Parkway, just west of Bedford Court in Temecula, when she was rear-ended by a 2005 Dodge Dakota truck operated by Summer Nordquist. The force of the collision pushed Coy’s vehicle into a 2000 Honda Accord, located in front of her. Coy claimed to her neck. Coy sued Nordquist, alleging that Nordquist was negligent in the operation of the Dodge truck. Nordquist did not dispute liability., Coy claimed she suffered neck pain that radiated into her arms and caused numbness in her fingers. After the collision, she contacted her boyfriend, went home, picked him up, and they went to the hospital together. Coy was diagnosed with a muscle strain at the hospital, but she presented to a Healthpointe walk-in clinic in Temecula a week later, on Oct. 26, 2012, with complaints of headaches, neck pain radiating into her shoulders, and bilateral forearm pain. She subsequently treated with physical therapy at Healthpointe until April 2013. She also saw a family medicine physician at the clinic and eventually saw an orthopedic surgeon, who testified at trial. The plaintiff’s treating orthopedic surgeon testified that Coy presented to him with complaints of left-sided neck pain radiating into her left arm, and he diagnosed her with a cervical disc herniation at the C5-6 level. He subsequently recommended a series of three epidural steroid injections. At the time, Coy was pregnant with her third child, so the treating orthopedic surgeon recommended that Coy wait until after the child’s birth before starting the injections. As a result, Coy received her first injection on Oct. 21, 2014, and she received the second injection on Dec. 2, 2014, the day before trial commenced. Coy claimed the injections provided her with some relief, but not full relief. She alleged that her infant was big, so her condition made it hard for her to pick up her third child as well as play with her other children. The only day Coy missed of work was on the day of the accident. The defense’s expert orthopedic surgeon examined Coy and, based on his examination and review of Coy’s medical records, he opined that Coy was not injured in the subject accident. The expert testified that it was not unreasonable for Coy to present to the emergency room after the accident, but that he did not find any positive findings during his later exam of Coy. Thus, he opined that if Coy was injured, it would have been soft-tissue in nature and would have only lasted a short time following the accident. Thus, the defense’s expert orthopedic surgery opined that Coy’s treatment was excessive and that the epidural injections were unnecessary.
Superior Court of Riverside County, Riverside, CA

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