Case details

Plaintiff claimed crash caused shoulder and spinal injuries





Result type

Not present

back strains, dominant shoulder, neck, pain
On the afternoon of March 11, 2012, plaintiff Shana Tables, 30, a stay-at-home mom, was a front seat passenger in a Toyota Sienna that was traveling on northbound Cascade Wonderland Highway, also known as Interstate 5, near Commerce. When Tables’ vehicle stopped for traffic, it was rear-ended by another northbound vehicle, which was operated by Matthew Andress and moving at a speed between 16 and 18 mph. The force of the impact pushed the Sienna into a Volkswagen Beetle ahead of it. Tables claimed to her neck, back, and right shoulder. Tables sued Andress, alleging that Andress was negligent in the operation of his vehicle. Andress conceded liability prior to trial, and the matter continued to trial to determine causation and damages., Tables claimed that she sustained neck and back strains, and an impingement of her right, dominant shoulder, resulting in bursitis and tendinitis. She subsequently received medical treatment later that day at Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian, in Newport Beach, where she was treated and released. Tables then treated with chiropractic care and four months of physical therapy. She also received a series of epidural steroid injections to her right shoulder joint. In January 2014, Tables underwent surgery to remove an inflamed bursa in her right shoulder joint and, in February 2015, she underwent a right biceps tenotomy procedure necessitated by scar tissue build up. Tables claimed a permanent right shoulder injury resulting in diminished right arm range of motion and weakness. The plaintiff’s treating orthopedic surgeon testified that Tables’ impingement syndrome was causally related to the accident and that the surgeries he performed were necessitated by that injury. He also opined that Tables’ seat belt caused an injury to her right shoulder at the moment of impact. The plaintiff’s retained orthopedic surgery expert confirmed Tables’ right shoulder condition based on a review of her medical records. He opined that Tables’ surgeries were necessitated by the accident. Thus, Tables sought recovery of $67,108 in past medical expenses, $5,000 in future medical expenses, $350,000 in damages for past pain and suffering, and $35,000 in damages for future pain and suffering. Defense counsel conceded that Tables sustained cervical and lumbar , but disputed Tables’ alleged shoulder injury and subsequent surgeries. Counsel argued that Tables’ right shoulder were unrelated to the rear-end collision. Instead, counsel maintained that Tables’ shoulder condition was a repetitive stress injury brought on by her participation in archery and use of her right arm at work. The defense’s orthopedic surgery expert testified that Tables’ emergency room examination records were normal and did not show signs of trauma. He opined that Tables must have developed the inflamed bursa from a repetitive stress injury, which occurred after the accident, citing the fact that the January 2014 operative report describes the compartments of Tables’ shoulder joint as uninjured. He also opined that Tables sustained only minor neck and back , which had since resolved. The defense’s accident reconstruction expert testified that Tables could not have sustained the shoulder injury as alleged given the forces involved in the collision. However, he opined that the seat belt could not have injured Tables’ shoulder as her body would have moved backward during the impact. Thus, he concluded that Tables’ shoulder injury was most likely the result of her participation in archery, which has been known to cause shoulder impingement.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles, CA

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