Case details

Driver not injured in collision, defense counsel argued





Result type

Not present

back, neck
On Feb. 18, 2009, plaintiff Wayne Huang, 62, a computer engineer, was operating his vehicle on 42nd Avenue near El Camino Real in San Mateo when his vehicle was struck by a vehicle operated by Jose Dubon, who was also traveling on 42nd Avenue. At the time of the accident, Dubon was delivering dry cleaning for PurpleTie Inc. by driving a vehicle owned by, which was doing business as PurpleTie Inc. No police came to the scene. Huang claimed back and neck as a result of the crash. Huang sued Dubon and He alleged that Dubon was negligent in the operation of his vehicle and that was liable for the negligence of its employee. Specifically, Huang claimed that he was stopped at a red light when he was struck for no reason. Dubon claimed that he “clipped” Huang’s car when he swerved to avoid striking Huang, who had stopped short for a yellow light. Thus, Dubon admitted negligence, but claimed that Huang contributed to the accident due to his short stop., Huang later went to an emergency room with complaints of neck and back pain. He also sought chiropractic treatment and followed up with Kaiser Permanente. Huang underwent an MRI scan and was diagnosed with potential radiculopathy. As a result, his attorney sent Huang to his treating physician, who diagnosed “facet ” and recommended a diagnostic injection and potentially facet rhizotomies. Huang alleged that he continued to have daily neck pain until the time of trial. Thus, he sought recovery of general and compensatory damages, but waived recovery for medical expenses and wage loss. Defense counsel argued that Huang was not injured in the minor accident and that all of Huang’s complaints were subjective. Counsel contended that records recorded that Huang complained of neck pain after a previous car accident, even though Huang testified he did not injure his neck in that accident. In addition, defense counsel contended that Huang continued to work as a computer engineer, including travel to China and long commutes to San Jose. The defense’s neurosurgery expert testified that Huang likely had arthritis in his neck and it was reasonable for Huang to seek medical care for eight months. However, the expert opined that after eight months of treatment, it was likely that any alleged ongoing symptoms, which were mild, were due to activity and severe arthritis. Thus, defense counsel urged the jury to render a defense verdict, but argued that if the jury found that Huang had sustained some injury in the accident, it should award the plaintiff between $3,000 and $5,000 in damages.
Superior Court of San Mateo County, San Mateo, CA

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