Case details

Plaintiff claimed collision caused neck injuries





Result type

Not present

bulging disc, cervical, neck
On Feb. 12, 2015, plaintiff Manuel Lopez, 45, a short-order cook, was driving in Los Angeles when he entered an intersection and became involved in a collision. Lopez claimed a semi-truck being operated by Adrian Lee swerved into his lane and struck the driver’s side of his vehicle, causing his vehicle to roll over. Lopez claimed he injured his neck in the crash. Lopez sued Lee and Lee’s employer, Manfreight Inc. Lopez alleged that Lee was negligent in the operation of his truck and that Manfreight was vicariously liable for Lopez’s actions. Lee conceded negligence, but claimed that Lopez was comparatively at fault for the crash., Lopez claimed he sustained bulging cervical discs at the C5-6 and C6-7 levels. Following the crash, Lopez was taken by ambulance to a local emergency room with complaints of head and neck pain. He subsequently underwent X-rays and was discharged two hours later. One week later, Lopez started a course of lawyer-referred therapy, during which Lopez also complained of lower back pain. He was ultimately diagnosed with cervical disc bulges at the C5-6 and C6-7 levels and received three epidural injections. However, he continued to experience pain and underwent a two-level artificial disc replacement with screws implanted. Lopez claimed that his neck pain had resolved, but that he continues to suffer from residual lower back pain. He alleged that as a result, he is limited in performing activities of daily living. Lopez’s treating orthopedic surgeon testified that MRI studies of Lopez’s cervical spine showed, at most, 2-millimeter disc bulges. Thus, he opined that Lopez’s condition was caused by the accident. The plaintiff’s treating orthopedic expert also opined that despite Lopez’s current complaints, no injections or surgery would be reasonable or necessary. Thus, Lopez sought recovery of past medical costs, past loss of wages, and damages for his past and future pain and suffering. Defense counsel disputed Lopez’s alleged and damages, arguing that Lopez was not injured. Defense counsel also presented a sub rosa video that showed Lopez lifting and pushing a grill onto a ramp in the back of his truck for a small catering business that Lopez ran on the side one month before the spinal surgery. Counsel argued that the surveillance video of Lopez lifting and performing strenuous activities showed that Lopez was not injured. The defense’s expert radiologist opined that Lopez did not sustain an injury in the collision and that there was nothing on the MRI imaging to indicate recent spinal trauma.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Compton, CA

Recommended Experts


Get a FREE consultation for your case