Case details

Defense disputed extent of plaintiff’s alleged neck injury





Result type

Not present

bulging disc, cervical, neck
On Sept. 29, 2016, plaintiff Nader Darabi, 24, a sales representative, was stopped on westbound Pico Boulevard with his turn signal activated, waiting to make to make a left turn onto 33rd Street, in Santa Monica, when his sedan was rear-ended by a vehicle operated by Jamie Levy. Darabi claimed to his neck and a shoulder. Darabi sued Jamie Levy and the owner of Ms. Levy’s vehicle, Ms. Levy’s husband, Joshua Levy. Darabi alleged that Ms. Levy was negligent in the operation of her vehicle and that Mr. Levy was vicariously liable for his wife’s actions. Mr. Levy was dismissed prior to trial in exchange for a waiver of costs. Ms. Levy admitted liability during discovery., Darabi claimed he sustained a bulging cervical disc as a result of the accident. He alleged that he experienced immediate head, upper shoulder and neck pain at the accident scene, rating the pain in his neck 8.5 out of 10 and the pain in his shoulder six out of 10. Darabi did not go to a hospital after the crash and, instead, took ibuprofen for the discomfort. He claimed that because the pain persisted, he went to his normal doctor at the Kaiser Permanente Santa Monica Medical Offices, in Santa Monica, on Oct. 6, 2016. At the time of the initial visit, Darabi still rated his neck pain 8.5 out of 10 and his shoulder pain six out of 10. Darabi was seen at Bay Cities Chiropractic, in National City, at around the end of October 2016. He underwent chiropractic treatment two to three times a week for three months. He claimed that while he was still undergoing treatment, he occasionally took ibuprofen for his neck pain to help him sleep. After completing all of the recommended sessions by mid-January 2017, Darabi felt that he merely received temporary relief. Darabi recalled that Bay Cities billed him close to $3,000, but that he rated his neck pain at the end of the chiropractor treatment 7.5 or eight out of 10 and his shoulder pain still being six out of 10. When he reported that he was still having pain, the chiropractors at Bay Cities told him to see a head and neck specialist, so Darabi presented to an orthopedist. The first consultation took place near the end of January 2017, during which time the physician ordered an MRI of his neck and found there was a bulging cervical disc. The orthopedist recommended epidural injections, which cost more than $24,000 in total. Darabi claimed that he felt 60 percent better after the epidural injections. He followed up with his orthopedist one week after the epidural injections, during which time Darabi allegedly still had neck pain (rated five out of 10) and minimal discomfort in his shoulders (rated one or two out of 10). Darabi’s treating orthopedist instructed him that if there was more pain, he has the option of receiving more injections or undergoing more-invasive surgery. Darabi claimed that at the time of trial, he was still experiencing discomfort in his neck, which he rated four or five out of 10, and a loss of range of motion. He also claimed that as a result of his pain, he no longer goes to the gym or plays basketball, flag football or golf. Darabi expressed interest in going back to his treating chiropractor and orthopedist for follow-up care and another MRI of his neck. Darabi sought recovery of $162,149.10 to $182,149.10 in total damages, including $32,149.10 in past medical costs, between $65,000 and $75,000 for his past pain and suffering; between $65,000 and $75,000 for his future pain and suffering, and an unspecified amount for his future medical costs. Defense counsel disputed the extent of Darabi’s and argued that Darabi would have only needed minor care, such as seeing a physician and undergoing X-rays. The defense’s medical experts opined that there was no pathology for injury beyond sprains and/or strains. Defense counsel also argued that the sprains and/or strains would have healed, even without any care.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Long Beach, CA

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