Case details

Plaintiff claimed rear-end crash caused cervical disc bulges





Result type

Not present

bulging disc, cervical, neck
On Sept. 16, 2009, at approximately 8:15 a.m., plaintiff Yolanda Lopez, 36, a receptionist, was driving on northbound State Route 57 in Pomona. When she was near the Interstate 10 Interchange, she was rear-ended by a vehicle operated by Sharyce Rains. Lopez claimed primarily neck . Lopez sued Ms. Rains and the registered owner of Ms. Rains’ vehicle, Stuart Rains, Ms. Rains’ father. Lopez alleged that Ms. Rains was negligent in the operation of her vehicle, in that she was driving at an unsafe speed as she approached slowing traffic. Lopez further alleged that Mr. Rains was vicariously liable for his daughter’s actions. Defense counsel did not seriously argue liability, nor did the defendants admit liability., On the date of the accident, Lopez went to her primary care physician with complaints of neck pain, as well as some bumps and bruises. An MRI revealed cervical disc bulges. Lopez’s first course of treatment consisted of three months of physical therapy. However, when she claimed the neck pain persisted one year after the accident, she was referred to a neurosurgeon and received two series of cervical epidural injections. Lopez then had another neurosurgical consultation in September 2013, due to continuing neck complaints, and was recommended further epidural injections, which she chose not to receive. Lopez claimed she still has problems sleeping due to ongoing residual neck pain. However, she is not currently seeking any further treatment for her neck. Lopez missed three days of work following the accident, but did not pursue a lost earnings claim. Thus, Lopez sought recovery of $9,515 in unpaid past medical costs (and $3,680 in stipulated paid bills). She also sought recovery of damages for her pain and suffering. Defense counsel argued that Lopez suffered from pre-existing, degenerative changes in her cervical spine and contended that Lopez had prior surgery on her lumbar spine. Defense counsel also disputed the amount of owed medical costs, arguing that the costs were unreasonable and unnecessary.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Pasadena, CA

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