Case details

Intersection crash caused need for treatment, plaintiff claimed





Result type

Not present

back, bulging disc, cervical, disc protrusion, lumbar, neck, sprain, strain
On Aug. 2, 2012, plaintiff Phuong Nguyen, 27, a makeup artist, was stopped at an intersection in La Jolla when the front, driver’s side corner of her vehicle was struck by a sport utility vehicle operated by Christina Peart, who was making a left turn at the intersection. During her turn, Peart lost control of her vehicle, drove into the opposite lane of travel and struck the vehicle stopped in front of Nguyen before striking Nguyen’s vehicle. Nguyen claimed to her neck and lower back. Nguyen sued Peart. Nguyen alleged that Peart was negligent in the operation of her vehicle. Peart admitted liability for the accident. The trial addressed damages., Nguyen claimed she sustained a cervical disc protrusion at the C4-5 level, sprains and strains to her neck and lower back, and a sprain to her trapezius muscle, which is a large muscle bundle that extends from the back of the head and neck to the shoulder. Nguyen was taken to an emergency room, where she was treated and released the same day. A couple days later, she presented to a chiropractor, whom she treated with from the beginning of August 2016 until Nov. 21, 2016. Following an MRI, Nguyen was found to have a C4-5 disc protrusion. She was referred to a pain management expert, who gave her a steroid injection to the C5-6 level in early October 2016. Nguyen had no other treatment after Nov. 21, 2016. Nguyen sought recovery of $15,200.17 in past medical costs, and an unspecified amount of damages for her past and future pain and suffering. Defense counsel argued that Nguyen only suffered minor soft tissue that did not require medical treatment past eight to 12 weeks. Counsel also argued that Nguyen did not require chiropractic treatment past 12 weeks, did not require an MRI, and did not require a steroid injection. Moreover, defense counsel argued, and the defense experts agreed, that the disc protrusion could not be attributed to the accident. Defense counsel noted that Nguyen testified during her deposition that her life was not affected by the accident, that she only felt pain in her back “sometimes” and that she only felt pain in her neck once a week. Counsel also noted that Nguyen had a subsequent car accident, during which she was rear-ended by a pickup truck and described her in a 911 call as consisting of pain to her neck and back. In addition, defense counsel argued that Nguyen could not be suffering from continued pain because she stopped treating with a chiropractor in November 2016 and that Nguyen had not sought any further treatment.
Superior Court of San Diego County, San Diego, CA

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