Case details

Intersection crash aggravated prior lower back pain: plaintiff





Result type

Not present

acupuncture, aggravation of pre-existing condition, back, epidural injections, neck
On Dec. 18, 2014, plaintiff Danny Hoang, 28, a cook, was driving south on South Sante Fe Avenue, in Los Angeles, when he entered the intersection with East Eighth Street and broadsided the driver’s side of a vehicle operated by Jasmine Lee, who entered the intersection from eastbound East Eighth Street. Hoang claimed to his neck and lower back. Hoang sued Jasmine Lee and the registered owners of Ms. Lee’s vehicle, Bong Lee and Dong Lee. Hoang alleged that Ms. Lee, as a permissive driver, was negligent in the operation of her vehicle and that the remaining defendants were vicariously liable for Ms. Lee’s actions. Specifically, Hoang claimed that he entered the intersection on a green light and that Ms. Lee entered the intersection on a red light. Ms. Lee initially disputed liability, but she admitted fault before trial., Hoang claimed he suffered an aggravation of a pre-existing lower back injury and a minor neck injury in the accident. He admitted he had lifelong pain to his lower back before the incident, but claimed the collision aggravated his condition. Hoang underwent a course of conservative treatment. He then underwent further treatment, including acupuncture, after a 13 month gap in treatment. Six months later, Hoang received an epidural injection to his lumbar spine. The plaintiff’s expert orthopedic surgeon testified that Hoang’s reasonable medical bills totaled $30,000. Hoang claimed that although he is still able to perform his job functions, he continues to suffer increased lower back pain. Hoang sought recovery of $30,000 in past medical costs, $30,000 in non-economic damages for his past pain and suffering, and $160,600 in non-economic damages, based on $10 per day for 44 years, for his future pain and suffering. Defense counsel disputed the nature and extent of Hoang’s alleged damages. Counsel argued that all treatment undergone after three months (after April 2015), including acupuncture and the lumbar epidural injection, was unreasonable and unrelated to the incident. Counsel further argued that all of Hoang’s complaints had resolved. Defense counsel subpoenaed Hoang’s pain management doctor, who testified that a cash patient rate for a lumbar epidural injection was $600. In addition, counsel noted that Hoang joined a UFC gym during the gap in treatment and that Hoang was an avid basketball player, which Hoang conceded prior to trial.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles, CA

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