Case details

Plaintiff claimed broadside crash caused spinal injuries





Result type

Not present

back, cervical, emotional distress, herniated disc, lumbar, mental, neck, psychological, sprain, strain
On July 30, 2017, plaintiff Andrew Shin, 34, was driving in Irvine. His wife, plaintiff Aram Kim, was a front-seat passenger. As they entered the intersection of Main Street and MacArthur Boulevard, their vehicle was broadsided by a vehicle operated by Tuan Pham. Shin claimed to his neck and back, while Kim suffered minor scrapes and bruises. Shin and Kim sued Pham, alleging that Pham was negligent in the operation of his vehicle. Kim ultimately settled out of the case. Shin claimed that Pham ran a red light, causing the collision. Pham admitted liability prior to trial., Shin claimed he sustained a herniated cervical disc, and cervical and lumbar strains and sprains. While his wife was taken by ambulance to a hospital after the crash, Shin followed in a police car. Shin later attempted an initial round of physical therapy and cervical epidural injections. However, he claimed all of the treatments were unsuccessful. He then attempted physical therapy a second time six months later, but he claimed he had limited success. Shin claimed he has some limited range of motion in his neck to the left, but that he has some pain with extreme flexion and extension. He also claimed he suffers from emotional distress as a result of the accident. However, Shin alleged he can still work. The plaintiff’s treating orthopedic spinal surgery expert recommended surgery, consisting of a cervical fusion, costing $150,000. The plaintiff’s treating psychology expert opined that Shin would need future therapy to help deal with the emotional turmoil of the crash. The expert opined that Shin’s future treatment would cost $4,000. Shin claimed that his past medical costs totaled approximately $3,000, but he waived the claim at trial. As a result, he sought recovery of $525,000 in total damages, including $154,000 in future medical costs for the recommended cervical fusion and psychological therapy, and an unspecified amount of damages for his past and future pain and suffering. Defense counsel argued that Shin’s were soft-tissue and that there was no need for surgery or an epidural injection. Counsel also argued that the imaging pathology was not indicative of Shin’s complaints and that Shin failed to attempt enough physical therapy before pursuing more invasive treatment.
Superior Court of Orange County, Orange, CA

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