Case details

Plaintiff claimed crash caused neck and mid-back injuries





Result type

Not present

facet, mid-back, neck, soft tissue
At around 1:30 p.m. on March 26, 2013, plaintiff Marita Wagner, 52, a medical biller, was stopped in her Dodge Durango on southbound Frederick Street, at the intersection with Dracea Boulevard, in Moreno Valley, when she was rear-ended by a Ford F-150 operated by Juan Pulido. Wagner claimed to her neck and back. Wagner sued Pulido, alleging that Pulido was negligent in the operation of his vehicle. Pulido admitted negligence in striking Wagner’s vehicle at a low-speed., Wagner claimed she sustained soft tissue to her neck and a facet injury to her mid-back. She was subsequently taken by ambulance to Riverside Community Hospital, in Riverside, where she underwent X-rays and was released six hours later. Wager sought treatment from a chiropractor two weeks later and underwent 30 chiropractic sessions. She was then referred to a pain management doctor, who recommended cervical epidural injections. MRIs revealed that Wagner had no cervical or thoracic disc herniations. After eight months without treatment, Wagner presented to another pain management doctor in May 2014 and underwent three thoracic epidural injections. Wagner then went to a Kaiser medical facility several times in 2015 and 2016 with complaints of pain to her neck and mid-back. Although there was only $500 in property damage to her vehicle, Wagner claimed that she was unusually susceptible to a facet injury due to her age and that she was an eggshell plaintiff with facet . Wagner claimed her soft tissue to her neck more or less resolved, while her thoracic facet injury continues to this day. She alleged that as a result of her thoracic injury, she has a hard time cooking Thanksgiving dinners, as she hosted holiday dinners annually, and she suffers limitations in the ability to work at a computer for long periods of time, even though she remains at the same job. She also alleged that she no longer enjoys cooking and cleaning the home. The plaintiff’s orthopedic surgery expert opined that Wagner still has facet pain. Thus, plaintiff’s counsel asked the jury to award Wagner $250,000, including $72,000 for Wagner’s lien treatment. Defense counsel disputed the nature and extent of Wagner’s , and contended that Wagner’s cervical and thoracic MRIs were fine and, in fact, better than most for her age. The defense’s orthopedic surgery expert testified that Wagner’s spine was in such a good condition that he would “trade spines” with Wagner.
Superior Court of Riverside County, Riverside, CA

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