Case details

Plaintiff claimed lumbar injury when struck by turning car





Result type

Not present

back, bulging disc, lumbar, neurological, radiculopathy
On Sept. 2, 2008, plaintiff Jill Shaye, 43, a convention model, was driving south on Ventura Canyon in Sherman Oaks. At approximately 7:10 a.m., while stopped at an intersection’s stop sign, Shaye was struck by a vehicle operated by Carol Ruth Sookman, who was making a left turn from the eastbound crossroad of Moorpark Avenue onto northbound Ventura Canyon. Shaye claimed an injury to her lower back. Shaye sued Sookman. She alleged the defendant was negligent in the operation of her vehicle. She contended that while she was stopped at the intersection, Sookman made a tight left turn onto northbound Ventura Canyon, cutting into the southbound lane and striking her vehicle on the right, front fender. Sookman admitted liability, and the case proceeded to trial on the issues of causation and damages., Shaye treated with her primary care doctor the day after the accident. She was subsequently referred to an orthopedist and underwent a MRI that revealed a bulging lumbar disc at L5-S1. Shaye treated conservatively with four initial months of chiropractic care, and then off and on for 18 months. She also had three visits for acupuncture, which she claimed didn’t help, and three series of steroid and trigger point injections. Shaye claimed she that she suffers radiculopathy in her lower left extremities and has difficulty standing for long periods of time, which affects her ability to work as a convention model. She alleged she missed an initial three months of work and has missed some time since then due to exacerbations of her condition. Shaye further claimed that she can no longer go horseback riding. The plaintiff’s vocational rehabilitation expert opined that Shaye would have to stop modeling at an earlier age and become retrained in a new line of work. Plaintiff’s counsel asked the jury to award $873,000 in total damages, consisting of $14,000 for paid medical costs, $4,500 for past lost earnings, $678,797 for future lost earnings, and an unspecified amount for past and future pain and suffering. Defense counsel argued that no one could have been seriously injured in the subject accident and that Shaye’s bulging disc was pre-existing. Counsel also argued that the appropriate treatment for the plaintiff should have included no more than six chiropractic visits.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Van Nuys, CA

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