Case details

Defense counsel argued plaintiff had no ongoing injuries





Result type

Not present

knee, lateral meniscus, tear
On Oct. 29, 2010, at 7:05 a.m., plaintiff Pong Re Shin, an unemployed 60 year old, was walking north on Orange Drive and attempted to cross Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles when she was struck by a southbound 2009 BMW 650, which had attempted to make a left turn from Orange Drive onto Melrose Avenue. Shin was knocked to the ground. Shin sued the driver of the BMW, Jill Cossman, and the believed owner of the vehicle, David Cossman. She alleged that Jill Cossman was negligent in the operation of her vehicle and that David Cossman was vicariously liable for her actions. However, David Cossman was dismissed prior to trial. Jill Cossman conceded liability., Shin was transported by paramedics to Olympia Medical Center’s emergency room. She reported that she fell on her side and was complaining of diffuse body aches that was worse on her right side. She also sought treatment from her chiropractic expert on the day of the incident and then underwent a course of physical therapy for five months. On Oct. 18, 2010, Shin underwent an MRI of her right knee due to complaints of pain and was diagnosed with a torn anterior cruciate ligament. An MRI of the cervical spine showed degenerative disease and broad-based cervical disc protrusions at the C3-4, C4-5, C5-6 and C6-7 level. Shin was referred to her expert orthopedic surgeon and then to the Spaulding Surgical Center in Beverly Hills, where she was treated by her expert in internal medicine/anesthesiology. Thus, Shin underwent two epidural injections to treat her cervical spine with a total cost of the injections being $12,500. The plaintiff’s orthopedic surgery expert determined that Shin’s right knee problems were a result of the subject accident. The expert also testified that Shin would need a total knee replacement, and that surgery and future medical costs would be between $40,000 and $60,000. The expert also testified that Shin required epidural injections, based on Shin’s subjective complaints and a review of an MRI report. The plaintiff’s expert in internal medicine/anesthesiology testified that Shin’s pain in her cervical spine was the result of the subject accident and that she would eventually require additional epidural injections. Shin testified that she could no longer run or jog, but could only walk with pain. Thus, she claimed $28,672 for medical specials. Plaintiff’s counsel asked the jury to award Shin $498,672 in total damages, which included future surgery and future pain and suffering. Defense counsel contended that Shin only suffered minor to moderate soft-tissue . Defense counsel noted that on Nov. 5, 2007, Shin was involved in a prior motor vehicle accident and that as a result of that accident, she received emergency treatment at the emergency room at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Counsel also contended that Shin was treated by her expert orthopedic surgeon for an ACL tear on her right knee following that crash. In addition, defense counsel noted that this expert testified that Shin had suffered only an ACL tear in the 2007 accident, but had suffered a much more serious lateral meniscus tear in the subsequent 2010 accident in question. Defense counsel showed the jury an 11-minute surveillance tape of Shin’s activities, taken on the day before trial and on the morning of the trial, which revealed that Shin was walking, jogging and running.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Central, CA

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