Case details

Defense claimed plaintiffs’ treatments were excessive





Result type

Not present

back, knee, lower back
On May 7, 2009, plaintiff Karen Zardarian, 32, an insurance salesman, was operating his 2001 Lexus GS430 on westbound Sherman Way in North Hollywood with plaintiff Joseph Anz, 32, a foreclosure specialist, in the front, passenger seat. As they proceeded through the T-intersection with Hinds Avenue, the right, front of their Lexus was struck by a 2007 Honda Accord, which was operated by Vardan Kasabyan and traveling on southbound Hinds Avenue.Zardarian claimed he injured his neck, back and shoulders in the accident, while Anz claimed to his neck, back and right hip and knee. The accident was not investigated by the police, no emergency personnel were summoned to the scene and there were no independent witnesses. Zardarian and Anz sued Kasabyan, alleging the defendant was negligent in the operation of his vehicle. Specifically, they claimed that Kasabyan ran a stop sign at the intersection and caused the accident. Kasabyan conceded admitted fault for the accident., Zardarian claimed he sustained soft-tissue to his neck, back and shoulders. As a result, he received chiropractic care from his treating expert on 59 occasions between May 8, 2009, and Oct. 21, 2009, consisting of hot and cold packs, massages, electrical stimulation, chiropractic manipulators, traction and an ultrasound. He also underwent an MRI of his lumbar spine, which revealed “mild degenerative disc changes.” In addition, he received an orthopedic consultation from a non-testifying physician who determined that Zardarian was a candidate for lumbar epidural injections. However, Zardarian never received the injections. Zardarian claimed that he was charged $6,945 for the chiropractic care, $2,200 for the MRI and $945 for the orthopedic consultation. However, he alleged that despite the treatment, he continues to experience back pain several times per month. He did not claim a loss of earnings. Anz claimed that he sustained soft-tissue to his neck, upper and lower back, and right hip and knee. He subsequently treated with the plaintiffs’ expert chiropractor 53 times between May 8, 2009, and Oct. 21, 2009. He also claimed he received the same therapy as Zardarian. Anz also underwent an MRI of his lumbar spine, but the results were “normal.” Anz claimed that he was charged $6,300 for the chiropractic services and $2,200 for the MRI. Anz also claimed that he has no residual complaints, and he did not make a claim for a loss of earnings. The plaintiffs’ treating chiropractor testified that the medical services rendered to each plaintiff were reasonable and necessary. He also opined that Zardarian would require additional medical care for his ongoing back complaints. The plaintiffs’ accident reconstruction expert testified that the forces imposed on Zardarian and Anz as a result of the accident would have likely caused the that they complained of. Both vehicles sustained major damage, and Zardarian’s Lexus was deemed a “total loss.” Prior to trial, Zardarian settled his property damage claim for $13,555, the value of his vehicle. Plaintiffs’ counsel called Kasabyan to testify as an adverse witness, who claimed that the impact of the collision was heavy and caused his vehicle’s airbags to deploy. Kasabyan and his wife, who was a front seat passenger in his vehicle, testified that both of them were injured in the accident and had incurred over $10,000 in medical expenses. The defense’s orthopedic surgery expert opined that none of the medical services rendered to either Zardarian or Anz were reasonable or necessary. He also opined that there was no need for MRIs, and that there was no indication for Zardarian’s orthopedic consultation or any future care. The defense’s expert testified that had he treated the plaintiffs, he would have examined them, taken X-rays and placed them on a home exercise program with two or three follow-up visits. Thus, the expert estimated the cost of the services would have been between $1,500 and $2,000 for Zardarian, and between $1,000 and $1,500 for Anz.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Glendale, CA

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