Case details

Mom and daughter: Broadside crash caused spinal injuries





Result type

Not present

back, facet syndrome, lumbar neck, neck, strain
On Aug. 29, 2009, plaintiff Jeanne McFarland, a self-employed 47 year old, was driving her sport utility vehicle on eastbound 2nd Avenue in Escondido, accompanied by her daughter, plaintiff Jordan McFarland, 14, and one of Jordan’s friends. While crossing the intersection with Centre City Parkway, their SUV was broadsided by a pickup truck operated by Raymond Robinson. McFarland claimed an injury to her neck, while her daughter, Jordan, claimed an injury to her lower back. Jeanne and Jordan McFarland sued Robinson, alleging that Robinson was negligent in the operation of his vehicle. Specifically, the McFarlands claimed that Robinson ran a red light at the subject intersection and broadsided their SUV, causing their vehicle to roll over. James McFarland, Ms. McFarland’s husband and Jordan’s father, and Smash Sports Products Inc., which was the McFarland family business that was doing business as Flex Sports, were originally named as plaintiffs, but ultimately discontinued their cases. Robinson admitted liability, and the matter proceeded to a bench trial on causation and damages., Ms. McFarland was taken by ambulance from the scene of the accident and brought to an emergency room, where she was treated and released for a neck injury. She initially sought follow-up care with her family physician and underwent some physical therapy. Ms. McFarland then had a one-year gap in treatment before seeking additional care with a pain management specialist. Ms. McFarland claimed she was diagnosed with cervical facet syndrome and still has limited range of motion in her cervical region, as well as radiating weakness to her left arm. She also claimed she used to be a triathlete, but is now limited in her ability to ride a bike or swim, primarily due to her limited range of motion to her cervical spine. However, Ms. McFarland did participate in several marathons after the accident. In addition, she claimed she missed a few weeks of work as a result of her and now requires assistance from her husband when lifting heavy items. Thus, Ms. McFarland sought recovery of $250,000 in total damages, including damages for her past medical costs, past lost earnings, property damage (phone/purse), and pain and suffering. Jordan treated with her family physician, a physical therapist, and a chiropractor for a lumbar strain. She claimed she still experiences ongoing lower back pain, but remains active in college volleyball. Thus, Jordan sought recovery of $40,000 in damages for past medical costs and pain and suffering. Defense counsel disputed the nature and extent of the damages alleged by Ms. McFarland and Jordan. The defense’s orthopedic expert opined that the plaintiffs’ medical bills were too high and that the gaps in treatment indicated the plaintiffs made significant recoveries.
Superior Court of San Diego County, Vista, CA

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