Case details

Plaintiff claimed crash made prior spinal injuries symptomatic





Result type

Not present

back, degenerative disc condition, exacerbation of, lower back, neck, scoliosis, spondylolisthesis
On Aug. 27, 2010, plaintiff Jeanne Urbani, 67, an office manager, was driving on eastbound Interstate 580 in Alameda County when, just before the Altamont Pass, her vehicle was rear-ended by a vehicle operated by Norma Gordillo. Urbani claimed to her neck and back resulting in chronic pain. Urbani sued Gordillo. She alleged that Gordillo was negligent in the operation of her vehicle. Specifically, Urbani alleged that Gordillo was speeding and could not stop her vehicle in time to avoid a rear-end collision. Gordillo conceded liability., After the incident, Urbani experienced back and neck pain, which she claimed became worse over the ensuing days. She claimed she called her regular treating physicians, who were all unavailable, and eventually saw a physician two weeks post-accident. Urbani was diagnosed with a sprained neck and back superimposed on degenerative disc disease, scoliosis and spondylolisthesis. She subsequently underwent epidural injections and orthopedic care. Urbani claimed that the degenerative disc disease and scoliosis were asymptomatic prior to the collision and were ultimately made symptomatic by the accident, and that her complaints will last for the rest of her life. Thus, she claimed she will require additional treatment, as her relief is only temporary. In addition, Urbani claimed that she was very active before the accident and that now she can no longer perform activities like gardening and walking her dog, and that the pain interferes with all aspects of her daily living, limiting her mobility and preventing her from sitting for long periods of time. Defense counsel contended that Urbani suffered a mild lower back strain, which resolved within a few months, and that Urbani’s ongoing complaints were due to the pre-existing scoliosis and degenerative condition in her lower back. Counsel further contended that ongoing epidural steroid injections were not appropriate treatment and that medication management should have been pursued. Thus, defense counsel disputed that Urbani’s were serious and that Urbani would require future medical treatment.
Superior Court of Alameda County, Hayward, CA

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