Case details

Defense disputed plaintiff’s need for chiropractic care





Result type

Not present

ankle, back, lower back
On Jan. 22, 2011, at around 7 p.m., plaintiff Christine Boucher, 19, a cook, was with a non-party friend, crossing Whitley Avenue at the intersection with Yucca Street in Los Angeles, when they were struck by a 2006 Ford Crown Victoria taxicab operated by Leo Tyrus. Boucher claimed that as a result of the impact, she “flew through the air,” landing on the street on her left side and her lower back, left hip, left ankle, and left, upper leg. Boucher sued Tyrus and the owner of the taxi, Mikhail Lelgant. She alleged that Tyrus was negligent in the operation of the taxi and that Lelgant was vicariously liable for Tyrus’ actions. Boucher also sued the vehicle’s insurer, Mercury Insurance Group, but the insurance carrier was ultimately dismissed from the case. Tyrus and Lelgant admitted liability for the accident., Police and emergency personnel were summoned to the scene, where Boucher was treated by paramedics. However, Boucher refused transportation to a hospital and, instead, had her friends drive her to a hospital. As a result, no police report was prepared on the accident. Boucher claimed she sustained soft-tissue to her lower back, left hip, left ankle, and left, upper leg. She was examined in the emergency room at Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Los Angeles and released the same day. She subsequently presented to a chiropractor in Los Angeles for 25 treatments over two months. She then received chiropractic care from her expert on eight occasions over two months. Boucher claimed she continues to experience lower back pain on a daily basis, which she attributes to the accident. She also claimed she missed one week of work from The Park Restaurant in Los Angeles. Thus, Boucher sought recovery of $5,294.50, which was the total amount of medical costs for her treatment with the two chiropractors and for her presentation at Kaiser Permanente Hospital. She also sought recovery of $550 in lost earnings, or $10 per hour for 55 hours. Defense counsel disputed the nature and extent of Boucher’s alleged and damages, and noted that Boucher had a 16-month-old child at the time of trial. The defense’s orthopedic surgery expert testified that none of the chiropractic care rendered to Boucher was reasonable or necessary as a result of the accident. In addition, defense counsel argued that Boucher’s loss of earnings was inflated, since her employment records revealed she only worked 20 to 25 hours per week.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Pomona, CA

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