Case details

Plaintiff claimed injections needed after rear-end crash





Result type

Not present

back, neck, soft tissue
On Dec. 2, 2015, plaintiff Maria Cayax, 38, a secretary, was stopped at a red light on Crescent Heights Boulevard, in Los Angeles, when her vehicle was rear-ended by a vehicle operated by Rebecca Tudor-Foley. The impact pushed Cayax’s vehicle into the vehicle in front of her. Cayax claimed to her neck and back. Cayax sued Tudor-Foley, alleging that Tudor-Foley was negligent in the operation of her vehicle. Tudor-Foley conceded liability., Cayax went to work after the accident. The following day, she presented to a chiropractor, who diagnosed her with soft tissue to her neck and back. Cayax underwent MRIs of her neck and back, which were determined to be normal. Cayax then underwent physical therapy and chiropractic treatment. Her back pain resolved, but she continued to complain of neck pain. As a result, she received three trigger point injections to her neck. When she still complained of neck pain, Cayax saw an orthopedic surgery expert, who sent Cayax for six additional physical therapy treatments and, later, performed a fourth trigger point injection to her neck in March 2019. Cayax claimed that she still has slight residual pain in her neck. She also claimed that she has difficulty moving around, and turning her head while driving or sleeping. Cayax took time off from work to attend her medical appointments and receive her medical treatments, but she claimed she did not have any loss of earnings. She also continues to work. Cayax’s treating orthopedic surgery expert opined that Cayax should follow up with an orthopedic consult in case of a flare up. Cayax sought recovery of $29,597 in past medical costs and an unspecified amount of future medical costs. She also sought recovery of non-economic damages for her past and future pain and suffering. Defense counsel disputed the nature and extent of Cayax’s . Counsel contended that collision consisted of a minor impact and that Cayax’s alleged pain should have been resolved after just undergoing physical therapy. The defense’s expert orthopedic surgeon opined that it was unnecessary for Cayax to receive trigger point injections for her alleged soft tissue because nothing was seen on Cayax’s MRIs. Defense counsel argued that Cayax’s medical charges were unreasonably high, and noted that the plaintiff’s expert orthopedic surgeon testified that the MRIs were a little overpriced.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Santa Monica, CA

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