Case details

Plaintiff claimed protruding discs from intersection crash





Result type

Not present

back, bruise, chest, disc protrusion, lumbar
On July 20, 2011, at approximately 8 a.m., plaintiff Zoe Thomas, 34, a bookkeeper, was driving west on Saticoy Street in Van Nuys when she entered the intersection with Winnetka Avenue and was struck by a vehicle operated by Rosemarie Henson, who was attempting a left turn from eastbound Saticoy Street onto northbound Winnetka Avenue. Thomas claimed to her neck, chest and lower back. Thomas sued Rosemarie Henson and an additional registered owner of the vehicle, Nel Henson. However, Nel Henson was not brought into the case in an active manner, and was not deposed or present at trial. Thus, Thomas alleged that Rosemarie Henson was negligent in the operation of her vehicle, and the matter proceeded to trial only against her. Thomas contended that Rosemarie Henson failed to yield to oncoming traffic, in violation of California Vehicle Code. Rosemarie Henson contended that Thomas ran a red light at the subject intersection, causing the collision., A few hours after the accident, Thomas was taken by her sister to an emergency room, where Thomas complained of a chest bruise from her vehicle’s seat belt, as well as neck and back pain. She subsequently underwent an MRI, which revealed 2 to 3 millimeter lumbar disc protrusions at L4-5 and L5-S1. Thomas initially underwent six months of chiropractic care and physical therapy, and on Feb. 5, 2013, she underwent an S1 block. Thomas claimed she continues to experience lower back pain and missed roughly one week from work after the accident. She also claimed her physician recommended a series of epidural injections or a lumbar discectomy at some point in the future. Thus, Thomas sought recovery of $25,372.35 in damages for her past medical costs, $50,000 in damages for her future medical costs, $1,144 in damages for her past lost earnings, $7,000 in damages to her property and $462.60 in damages for her car rental expenses. In addition, she sought recovery of an unspecified amount of damages for her pain and suffering. Defense counsel argued that Thomas only suffered soft-tissue sprains and strains from the accident, which had already healed. Thus, counsel contended that Thomas’ past medical costs should not have exceeded $5,000.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Van Nuys, CA

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