Case details

Plaintiff claimed rear-end crash caused herniated discs





Result type

Not present

back, herniated disc, neck
On Jan. 8, 2014, plaintiff Wendell Johnson, a petition circulator in his 20s, was driving on Grove Avenue, in Rancho Cucamonga. His vehicle was rear-ended by a vehicle operated by Henry Trujillo. Johnson claimed to his neck and back. Johnson sued Trujillo, alleging that Trujillo was negligent in the operation of his vehicle. Trujillo passed away from unrelated causes, so the matter continued against his estate. Trujillo’s estate admitted that Trujillo was liable for the accident., Johnson drove himself to a hospital on the day of the accident. He underwent minor treatment. Johnson ultimately claimed that he suffered herniations of his C3-4, C4-5, C6-7, L3-4 and L4-5 intervertebral discs. Johnson underwent physical therapy, and he received three epidural injections to his cervical spine and three epidural injections to his lumbar spine. He has been discharged from treatment, but he claimed that he still suffers pain in his neck and back. Although Johnson was involved in a subsequent vehicular accident on March 24, 2017, Johnson’s treating orthopedist opined that all of Johnson’s herniations were caused by the subject accident. The expert also opined that the herniated discs caused Johnson’s ongoing radiculopathy and nerve inflammation. The parties stipulated that Johnson would only seek general damages for the pain he felt prior to the second collision. Thus, Johnson sought recovery for his past medical costs and past pain and suffering. The defense’s expert biomechanical engineer opined that Johnson could not have been injured in the subject accident due to the low delta-v factor. The defense’s expert orthopedic surgeon opined that, based on her review of the MRIs, there were no herniated discs. She also opined that Johnson’s medical bills were unreasonable and that all of Johnson’s treatment was unnecessary.
Superior Court of San Bernardino County, San Bernardino, CA

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