Case details

Plaintiff claimed lumbar injuries a result of intersection crash




Mediated Settlement

Result type

Not present

back, brain, brain injury, bulging disc, cognition, concussion, head, headaches, lower back, lumbar, mental, neck, psychological, whiplash
On July 22, 2011, plaintiff Amy Litman, 29, a pharmaceutical sales representative, was driving her 2009 Toyota Camry on eastbound Shepherd Avenue in Fresno. At 2:01 p.m., she entered the intersection with Millbrook Avenue and broadsided a 2007 Toyota Camry operated by Ronson Root, who was attempting to make a left turn onto westbound Shepherd Avenue from northbound Millbrook Avenue. Litman claimed to her back, head and neck. Since Litman was on the job at the time of the collision, she filed for worker’s compensation benefits. She also sued Root, alleging the defendant was negligent in the operation of his Camry. Litman claimed that she entered the intersection on a green traffic signal and that Root had run a red signal, causing the collision. Root admitted liability. However, since Root only had $50,000 of available insurance on his policy with Liberty Mutual, Litman sought further recovery by filing a supplementary-underinsured-motorist claim with her employer, Daiichi Sankyo., Although Litman was not treated at the scene or taken to a hospital immediately after the accident, she ultimately presented to her primary care physician for treatment. She was diagnosed with a concussion due to whiplash, a disc protrusion at L3-4; a complete obliteration of the disc at L4-5; and a large disc herniation at L4-5, which filled the spinal canal and caused severe compression of the thecal sac and the lateral recesses, as well as mild narrowing of the inferior L4-5 neural foramina with right intraforaminal spurring. She was also found to have a transitional vertebral body at the lumbosacral junction with partial sacralization of L5, a mild compression of the superior end plate of the posterior L5 vertebra with a small posterior osteophyte mildly deforming the thecal sac. In addition, Litman was diagnosed with narrowing of the L5-S1 disc, causing an L5-S1 rudimentary disc, and moderate narrowing of the central canal at L5-S1. Litman claimed her caused nerve pain shooting down both legs, with the majority of the pain in her right leg, as well as abdominal pain, neck pain and headaches. She also claimed she suffered some memory loss. Litman subsequently underwent a discectomy and laminectomy at L4-5. Following the surgery, Litman claimed that she still suffers chronic lower back pain, tightness/stiffness and limited range of motion. She alleged that as a result, her physical activities have been significantly impaired. Specifically, she claimed she can no longer jump, use exercise machines at the gym, do lower body-type workouts with weights, do over the head weightlifting, waterski, wakeboard, or snowboard. As a result of Litman’s continued complaints of pain, the plaintiff’s medical specialists opined that there is a probability that Litman will eventually need a spinal fusion. Thus, Litman sought recovery for her past and future medical expenses and past and future pain and suffering. Her husband, David Litman, sought recovery for his loss of consortium. The defense’s medical specialist also opined that Mrs. Litman would require future medical treatment, including, but not limited to, additional lumbar spine surgery. However, counsel contended that any additional surgery would be covered in the workers’ compensation matter.
Superior Court of Fresno County, Fresno, CA

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