Case details

Head-on crash caused cervical disc herniation, plaintiff alleged





Result type

Not present

cervical, fusion, herniated disc, neck
On Sept. 6, 2010, at approximately 11 a.m., plaintiff Monique Johnson, 48, owner of a maid service, was driving on northbound Forestdale Avenue in Covina when she attempted to cross the intersection with Adams Park and was struck head-on by a vehicle operated by Jonathan Galvan, who was traveling on southbound Forestdale Avenue. Johnson claimed to her neck and lower back. Johnson sued Jonathan Galvan and the owner of the vehicle, Bella Galvan. Johnson alleged that Mr. Galvan was negligent in the operation of the vehicle and that Ms. Galvan was vicariously liable for Mr. Galvan’s actions. Specifically, Johnson contended that as Mr. Galvan came around a curve in the road and approached the subject intersection, he cut the corner, swinging into her lane of traffic and causing the head-on collision. Plaintiff’s counsel moved for summary judgment on liability, and it was granted. Since the defendants did not admit to liability in their responses to Request for Applications, the court awarded Johnson liability expert fees., On the day after the accident, Johnson went to a chiropractor with complaints of neck and lower back pain. She was subsequently diagnosed with a herniated disc at C5-6, and soft-tissue strains and sprains of her lower back. Johnson ultimately underwent a cervical fusion at C5-6 in August 2012, and she treated with chiropractic care and physical therapy for two months. Johnson contended that she was bedridden for a long time during her recovery and that while her back injury has resolved, she still experiences some residual neck discomfort. She claimed that as a result, she requires further conservative care and possible surgery. Thus, Johnson claimed $210,000 in past medical costs and sought recovery of damages for her future medical costs, and pain and suffering. The defense’s expert radiologist opined that Johnson’s neck injury was unrelated to the accident. The expert testified that Johnson suffered a spontaneous disc bulge at C5-6 42 days after the accident and that this spontaneous injury was what necessitated Johnson’s neck surgery.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Pasadena, CA

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