Case details

Defense: Minor rear-ender did not cause plaintiff’s injuries





Result type

Not present

back, bulging disc, face, head, headaches, jaw, lumbar, neck, neurological, nose, radicular pain, radiculitis, spasm, stenosis
On the afternoon of July 24, 2010, plaintiff Andrew Brown, 23, a student, was in stop-and-go traffic on the northbound 605 Freeway in Downey, when he was rear-ended by a vehicle operated by Lawson Cole. Brown primarily claimed to his neck and lower back. Brown sued Cole. He alleged the defendant was negligent in the operation of his vehicle. Specifically, he claimed that Cole was driving inattentively and failed to stop his vehicle in time to prevent the collision. Cole admitted liability for the accident, and the matter proceeded to a trial on causation and damages., Brown treated at an urgent care facility two days after the accident, presenting with neck and lower back pain, dizziness, headaches and jaw pain. He underwent X-rays and was prescribed pain medication for strains and sprains. However, Brown claimed he developed continuing pain and stiffness in his lower back, as well as spasms radiating down to both legs. Brown began a course of chiropractic care for a month, but claimed no improvement and presented to an orthopedist for an MRI of his lower back. He claimed the MRI revealed multiple diffuse bulges and stenosis throughout the lumbar spine. Thus, Brown claimed that a pre-existing condition of congenital stenosis in his lower back was exacerbated by trauma from the subject accident. While his neck condition had mostly resolved, Brown claimed that he still experiences residual pain symptoms in his lower back and, according to his expert orthopedic surgeon, will most likely need future back surgery. Brown further claimed that he is now prohibited from certain activities, including camping, hiking, working out and playing the drums. Thus, he sought recovery of approximately $3,300 in damages for his past medical costs and $30,000 in damages for his past and future pain and suffering. The defense’s accident reconstruction expert testified as to the low force of impact from the subject accident. Thus, defense counsel argued that Brown did not sustain a serious injury in the accident since the force of the impact was insufficient to have caused aggravation of the alleged pre-existing stenosis condition.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Norwalk, CA

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