Case details

Plaintiff: Broadside crash caused cervical disc bulge





Result type

Not present

bulging disc, cervical, head, headaches, left arm, lower back, neck
On Oct. 26, 2010, plaintiff Melinda Lawless, 32, an administrative assistant at Disneyland, was driving on southbound Moody Street in Cypress when she entered the intersection with Sorrento Drive and was broadsided by a vehicle operated by Samantha Condy, who was traveling on westbound Sorrento Drive. Lawless claimed to her neck, lower back, and left arm. Lawless sued Samantha Condy and the owner of the vehicle, Samantha Condy’s mother, Theresa Condy. Lawless alleged that Samantha Condy was negligent in the operation of the vehicle and that Theresa Condy was vicariously liable for her daughter’s actions. Lawless contended that her side of the intersection was uncontrolled while Samantha Condy had a stop sign. Thus, she claimed that Samantha Condy broadsided the driver side of her vehicle by failing to yield the right of way at the subject intersection. She also claimed her vehicle was determined to be a total loss. The Condys admitted liability just prior to trial, and, the matter proceeded to assess causation and damages., Lawless went to work following the accident; however, she claimed severe pain to her neck, back, and left arm led her to go to an emergency room the same day. She then followed up with her primary care doctor and was referred to a chiropractor, with whom she treated for two months. Lawless was also referred to an orthopedic surgeon and underwent an MRI that revealed a significant disc bulge at C4-5. After her initial treatment, Lawless got married and had a baby. She saw a neurosurgeon twice, in January 2013 (during her pregnancy) and in September 2013 (after she gave birth), and was recommended epidural steroid injections, which she declined due to her newborn baby. In February 2014, Lawless started treating with pain management and received trigger point injections for her neck. Lawless claimed she still deals with neck pain, triggering migraine-like headaches. She claimed two weeks of missed work due to the accident, and sought recovery of $1,680 in past lost earnings. Lawless also sought recovery of $8,215 in past medical costs and an unspecified amount for future medical costs for future epidural injections and a possible neck surgery. She further sought recovery of $20,000 to $40,000 in damages for her past pain and suffering, and $200,000 in damages for her future pain and suffering. Defense counsel argued that Lawless had a gap in treatment for over a year and that she only sustained minor soft-tissue from the accident, which had resolved by the time she treated with the orthopedic surgeon.
Superior Court of Orange County, Santa Ana, CA

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