Case details

Head-on crash caused multiple injuries, plaintiff claimed





Result type

Not present

anterior cruciate ligament, anxiety, chest, depression, dysthymia, fracture, insomnia, knee, knees, mental, psychological, rib, ribs, shoulders, sternum, tear
On Feb. 8, 2012, at approximately 4:34 p.m., plaintiff Deborah Nagin, 59, a registered nurse, was driving on eastbound State Route 74, in Palm Desert, when she collided head-on with a vehicle operated by Noah Richard Odum, who had crossed over the double-yellow line from westbound SR-74. Nagin claimed to her sternum, ribs, both shoulders, and both knees. Nagin sued Noah Odum, alleging the defendant was negligent in the operation of his vehicle. (Richard Odum, also known as Richard F. Odum, was also named as a defendant, but he was ultimately let out of the case.) Noah Odum admitted liability for the accident, and the matter proceeded to a trial on and damages., Nagin was taken by ambulance to an emergency room. As a registered nurse, Nagin claimed her treatment at the E.R. was inadequate and did not properly assess her . She subsequently treated with specialists that included a chiropractor and two orthopedic surgeons. Nagin was diagnosed with fractures of her sternum and ribs. Her medical specialists ultimately diagnosed Nagin with tears of the left shoulder’s supraspinatus tendon, infraspinatus tendon, and anterior labrum; a complete tear of the right shoulder’s supraspinatus tendon; a partial tear of the right shoulder’s infraspinatus tendon; a SLAP tear of the right shoulder’s superior labral undersurface; and tears of the anterior cruciate ligaments in both knees. Nagin also claimed she suffered post-traumatic stress disorder and dysthymic disorder, resulting in bouts of depression, insomnia, and anxiety. On April 26, 2012, Nagin underwent bilateral arthroscopic shoulder surgery. She then underwent additional bilateral shoulder surgery, which consisted of a debridement, a subacromial decompression, a distal clavicle resection, and a rotator cuff repair, on Sept. 11, 2012. Nagin then followed up with roughly six months of physical therapy. She also received psychotherapy to treat her diagnosed PTSD and dysthymic disorder. Nagin claimed that she now is unable to lift more than 25 pounds and that she continues to experience popping and clicking sounds in her surgically repaired shoulders. She also claimed she suffers bilateral knee pain and swelling on a daily basis, as well as knee slipping that affects her balance and almost causes her to fall. She further claimed she has difficulty standing up, going up and down stairs, and other strenuous activities. Nagin claimed that after 30 years of working as a highly experienced and reputable emergency room nurse, she was forced to terminate her employment due to her condition and physical limitations. She also claimed her condition has drastically affected her relationship with her animals, including four horses and two miniature donkeys, whom she can no longer care for as well as she used to. Thus, Nagin sought recovery of $152,908.35 in past medical costs, $350,000 in future medical costs, and $1,437,766 in past lost earnings and future loss of earning capacity. She also sought recovery of damages in the suggested range of $3 million to $8 million for her past and future pain and suffering. Defense counsel argued that the shoulder surgeries and alleged knee were not related to the subject accident due to a delay in onset of Nagin’s symptoms. Counsel contended that the tendon tears in Nagin’s shoulders were more consistent with age-related changes, as well as Nagin’s activities with her horses. Defense counsel further argued that it was reasonable for Nagin to have taken off three months from work following the accident, and requested that the jury award damages in the amount of $12,313 in past medical expenses and $24,414 in past lost earnings. Counsel further suggested a verdict for pain and suffering in the range of $100,000 to $200,000.
Superior Court of Riverside County, Indio, CA

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