Case details

Defense: Plaintiff’s surgery unnecessary





Result type

Not present

back, cervical, fusion, lower back, neck
On May 14, 2008, just before midnight, plaintiff Keely Maroney, 24, an assistant costume designer, was driving in the curb lane of southbound Brand Boulevard, just south of Lexington Drive in Glendale. While she was allegedly looking for an open, diagonal parking space to park in, her vehicle was rear-ended by Asaf Iacobsohn. Maroney claimed to her neck and lower back from the crash. Maroney sued Mr. Iacobsohn and the co-owner of Mr. Iacobsohn’s vehicle, his mother, M.Y. Iacobsohn, who was also known as Yaffa Iacobsohn. The defendants stipulated that Mr. Iacobsohn was in the scope of his employment with Pacwest Corp. at the time of the accident and, as a result, Pacwest Corp. was also sued. Maroney alleged that Mr. Iacobsohn was negligent in the operation of his vehicle, and that Ms. Iacobsohn and Pacwest Corp. were vicariously liable for his actions. Mr. Iacobsohn admitted he was negligent, and claimed that Maroney told him at the scene that she was double parked and waiting for someone to get money from an ATM. Thus, defense counsel argued that Maroney was comparatively negligent because she had no right turn signal or hazard lights activated to warn approaching drivers that she was either stopped or moving slowly., A police officer responded to the scene, but Maroney declined paramedic assistance. However, Maroney visited her internist the following day and claimed to her neck and lower back. On Jan. 20, 2012, her treating neurosurgeon and orthopedic surgeon at Olympia Medical Center performed a cervical discectomy and fusion at the C4-5 level, and an artificial intervertebral disc placement at the C6-7 level. Maroney claimed that she will eventually require a lower back surgery. She also claimed she needed to switch careers from a costume designer to a make-up artist due to her . Thus, Maroney sought recovery of $328,846.89 for her past medical costs, $150,000 for her future medical costs and $37,000 for her past lost earnings. Defense counsel contended that both of Maroney’s treating surgeons performed an unnecessary surgery based on a lack of any radiculopathy and minor disc changes. Counsel conceded that Maroney had kyphosis, or a curving of the spine, at the C4-5 level, which was attributable to a flexion/extension injury at some point in her life. However, counsel contended that this kyphosis was not caused by the subject accident. According to defense counsel, the plaintiff’s treating neurosurgeon testified on cross-examination that if the jury did not find his surgery was necessary, he would not pursue Maroney for his medical lien. Defense counsel also claimed that the plaintiff’s treating orthopedic surgeon testified that he never participated in informing Maroney of what the surgery would consist of and that he didn’t know until he was in the operating room that the plaintiff’s treating neurosurgeon would be doing a hybrid surgery.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Burbank, CA

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