Case details

Plaintiff claimed lumbar disc bulge from rear-ender





Result type

Not present

back, bulging disc, lumbar, spasm
On Dec. 2, 2009, plaintiff Donald Covarrubias, 35, a heavy-duty truck mechanic, was driving south on the 101 Freeway near Camarillo, when his vehicle was rear-ended by a vehicle operated by Rose Miranda. Covarrubias claimed back from the impact. No police or traffic collision report was made, and both vehicles were driven away from the scene. Covarrubias sued Miranda, alleging that she was negligent in the operation of her vehicle. Miranda conceded liability., On the day after the accident, Covarrubias presented to Urgent Care with complaints of low back pain, though the X-ray was negative. He then returned to Urgent Care on Dec. 16, 2009, with complaints of back pain and was prescribed 12 visits for physical therapy. On Dec. 28, 2009, Covarrubias presented to a chiropractor and complained of neck and back pain. An MRI was subsequently taken on Jan. 18, 2010, which noted a lumbar spasm and a 2-to-3-millimeter lumbar disc bulge at the L5-S1 level, with no impingement on the nerve. Covarrubias was ultimately discharged from the chiropractor on Feb. 10, 2010. In the summer of 2010, he presented to an orthopedic surgeon and was prescribed 12 visits of physical therapy. Plaintiff’s counsel noted that Covarrubias never went to physical therapy due to the costs. Covarrubias missed two days of work, where he made $25 per hour for 20 hours. He claimed that after incident, he could no longer perform the heavy lifting that was part of his job duties as a heavy truck mechanic, such as lifting brakes or tires. Covarrubias claimed that as a result, his job was modified to include desk work for the same employer. He also claimed that he does not like prescription pain medication and took over the counter Advil on a daily basis for his pain. Thus, Covarrubias claimed medical costs of $4,373 and a loss of earnings of $500. Defense counsel contended that Covarrubias’ MRI and orthopedic evaluation were unreasonable and unnecessary. Counsel also subpoenaed two of the plaintiff’s former employees to say that Covarrubias was untruthful in regards to his job duties, claiming that the plaintiff’s job was not modified.
Superior Court of Ventura County, Ventura, CA

Recommended Experts


Get a FREE consultation for your case