Case details

Plaintiff claimed ongoing back problems from rear-end crash





Result type

Not present

back injury, herniated lumbar disc, lumbar sprain, neck, rib pain, strain
On May 4, 2012, plaintiff Porchea Franks, 29, a courier worker at UMDS Courier Services, was driving a Chevy Impala with her children, Trinity Thomas and Meyonni Varnado, both minors, as passengers in the vehicle. At around 3:30 p.m., as they were traveling at approximately 15 mph in the number three, eastbound lane — the second lane from the far right (slow) lane — of Interstate 105, officially known as the Glenn Anderson Freeway and also known as the Century Freeway, in Hawthorne, their car was rear-ended by a Chrysler Town & Country rental vehicle operated by Moseki Koseki. Franks and her children all presented to a hospital the next day, and Franks claimed she sustained a lower back injury as a result of the crash. Franks, acting individually and as guardian ad litem of Trinity and Meyonni, sued Koseki and the owner of the rental vehicle, EAN Holdings LLC. Franks alleged that Koseki was negligent in the operation of the rental vehicle and that EAN Holdings was vicariously liable for Koseki’s actions, as Koseki bought the rental insurance at the counter when he rented the vehicle. EAN Holdings was ultimately dismissed from the case, and Trinity and Meyonni settled with Koseki’s insurer. Koseki conceded liability for the accident., One day after the collision, Franks and her two minor children presented to a Kaiser Permanente facility to be evaluated. Franks presented with complaints of rib pain. As for her children, it was ultimately determined that Trinity and Meyonni had no . Two days later (three days after the crash), Franks presented to Compton Health Clinic, in Compton, with complaints of neck and back pain. For the next three months, she treated with massage and hot packs before being fully released with no complaints on Aug. 9, 2012. Approximately one year later, on Aug. 13, 2013, Franks presented to attorney-referred lien pain management doctors at South Bay Pain Clinic. At that time, it was discovered that Franks had a herniated lumbosacral disc at the L5-S1 level. She subsequently received three epidural injections and two facet injections over the course of 1.5 years. She was then referred to a neurosurgery expert in 2014, and underwent a lumbar hemilaminectomy. Franks claimed that she still suffers pain to her back and that as a result, she is unable to work. Thus, Franks sought recovery of $1.4 million in total damages. Specifically, she claimed $209,000 in past medical costs, which consisted of pain management treatment with epidurals, facet injections and a hemilaminectomy. The remaining amount sought was for her non-economic damages for her past and future pain and suffering. Defense counsel argued that Franks only sustained a lumbar sprain and strain that had healed by the time she was released from Compton Health Clinic. The defense’s neurosurgery expert opined that Franks only sustained a lumbar sprain and strain in the collision and that the herniated lumbar disc was due to degenerative conditions. However, plaintiff’s counsel noted that the defense expert could not even recognize his own voice when the audiotaped defense medical exam was played over the court speakers.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Long Beach, CA

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