Case details

Plaintiff claimed neck injury caused by rear-end accident





Result type

Not present

chronic pain, neck, soft-tissue neck strain, stiffness
On Jan. 11, 2013, plaintiff Scott Lonnee, a retired fire chief in his 60s, was driving on the southbound San Diego Freeway, also known as Interstate 405, in Orange County, when his vehicle was rear-ended by a vehicle operated by Steven Song. The impact was not extreme, but Lonnee claimed neck . Lonnee sued Song, alleging that Song was negligent in the operation of his vehicle. Song conceded liability., Lonnee claimed he suffered a soft-tissue neck strain in the collision. Although he complained of pain and stiffness to his neck at the scene, he did not initially seek medical care, as he thought he would get better. However, when his neck condition did not improve after about six months, he presented to his treating chiropractic expert, who performed an X-ray. The chiropractor testified that the X-ray showed spondylosis, which is a straightening of the spine, indicating spasms. He opined that Lonnee’s were related to the subject collision, as Lonnee reported being tight, but with no pain, before the collision while Lonnee had chronic pain and a limited range of motion after the crash. The plaintiff’s treating chiropractic expert subsequently performed manipulation, intersegmental traction, heat packs, and massage therapy during the six months or so that the he treated Lonnee. Lonnee claimed that he is still not 100 percent better and continues to have pain on a daily basis while performing his daily activities, but that he “powers through it.” He also claimed that although he was retired, he still worked in security consulting and remodeled his rental property after moved from Lake Havasu City, Ariz., to Garden Grove, Calif. However, he alleged that his affect his ability to continue those activities. Thus, Lonnee sought recovery of $5,920 in past medical bills. He also sought recovery of damages for his pain and suffering. Defense counsel argued that Lonnee was not injured in the collision and that if Lonnee was injured, he would have gone immediately to seek medical care, but instead waited six months. The defense’s chiropractic expert opined that Lonnee’s chiropractic care was not beneficial six months after the collision, and so none of Lonnee’s treatment was reasonable or necessary. The expert also opined that the plaintiff’s treating chiropractor overcharged Lonnee and that the medical bills were too high.
Superior Court of Orange County, Orange, CA

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