Case details

Driver and passenger claimed crash caused serious injuries




Mediated Settlement

Result type

Not present

back, fusion, herniated disc, lower back, lumbar
On Oct. 27, 2008, plaintiff Christopher Clark, 36, a commercial leasing realtor, was driving north on Allenford Avenue in Santa Monica, accompanied by his wife, Alexandra Mendez, in the front passenger seat. At approximately 9 a.m., when they was just north of the intersection with San Vicente Boulevard, they were rear-ended by a vehicle operated by Robert Sonnenblick. Clark claimed to his lower back, while Mendez claimed to her neck, right knee and left arm. Clark and Mendez sued Sonnenblick. They alleged that the defendant was negligent in the operation of his vehicle. Specifically, they alleged that Sonnenblick was following too closely in his vehicle and caused the rear-end collision. Liability was not contested by the defendant., Clark and Mendez first treated with an orthopedist on Nov. 21, 2008, after receiving some advice from Mendez’s father, who is a doctor. Clark underwent an MRI that revealed a lumbar disc herniation at L5-S1 and a bilateral pars defect at the L5 level. He subsequently received two epidural injections and underwent physical therapy, which he claimed were both unsuccessful. On Feb. 2, 2009, Clark underwent a lumbar fusion and laminectomy, with the insertion of pedicle screws at the L5-S1 level. On Jan. 25, 2010, he underwent an anterior discectomy and decompression. After a third failed epidural injection, he also underwent surgery to remove hardware from his lower back on Nov. 8, 2010. Despite treatment, Clark claimed he still has lower back pain and discomfort, which restricts all activities. Thus, he sought recovery of $438,829 in damages for his past medical costs and an unspecified amount of damages for his past and future pain and suffering. Mendez claimed soft-tissue to her neck, right knee and left, non-dominant arm. She subsequently treated with less than one month of physical therapy and a few visits with the orthopedist. Mendez claimed she made a good recovery, but was still experiencing some intermittent knee pain. Thus, she claimed $2,875 in damages for her past medical costs and an unspecified amount of damages for her past and future pain and suffering. Defense counsel disputed the cause and extent of the plaintiffs’ . Counsel contended the impact was relatively minor and not able to cause any serious with permanency.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Santa Monica, CA

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