Case details

Defense disputed severity of plaintiff’s alleged injuries





Result type

Not present

neck shoulder
On Aug. 25, 2010, at approximately 9:00 a.m., plaintiff Stephanie Young-Birkle, 35, was traveling in her vehicle on Main Street, in Woodland. While stopped at a red light, Young-Birkle’s vehicle was rear-ended by a vehicle driven by Fei Du. Allegedly, the accident occurred when Du let her foot off of her brake, causing her vehicle to roll forward and strike Young-Birkle’s rear bumper. Young-Birkle claimed as a result of the collision. Young-Birkle sued Du, alleging that Du was negligent in the operation of her vehicle, causing bodily . Du admitted to being responsible for the collision., Following the collision, Young-Birkle saw a physician’s assistant at the Woodland Medical Clinic. Young-Birkle alleged that she sustained neck and shoulder as a result of the collision and testified about the severity of the she sustained, as well as the treatment that she underwent for the . Her treatment included massage therapy, electro stimulation, and adjustments from her physical therapist, whom she treated with for 23 visits, over a 5-month period, beginning in October 2010. Plaintiff’s counsel asked the jury for recoveries of Young-Birkle’s medical costs, wage loss claims of approximately $300 for three days of work missed, and general damages, for a total of $19,000. Defense counsel disputed the claims made by Young-Birkle regarding her , contending that the impact between the two vehicles was not severe enough to cause the that she claimed. Counsel argued that there was no visible damage to the front bumper of Du’s vehicle and that the damage to Young-Birkle’s vehicle was only minor. Defense counsel noted that during cross-examination, Young-Birkle made statements about the accident, claiming that she was “in shock” from the impact and that she “felt like she was hit by a truck” and “saw her life pass before her eyes.” Defense counsel argued that statements such as these indicated that Young-Birkle’s testimony about the severity of the collision was not credible, as the statements were evidently far more dramatic than what could be reasonably said about the collision, given the evidence of what kind of damage the collision caused.
Superior Court of Yolo County, Yolo, CA

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