Case details

Plaintiff claimed rear-ender caused neck injury




Mediated Settlement

Result type

Not present

back, neck, soft tissue
At approximately 5 p.m. on Oct. 27, 2009, plaintiff Lisa Chapman, 33, a vocational nurse, was stopped for a red light on eastbound Hospital Road at the intersection of Newport Boulevard in Newport Beach, when she was rear-ended by a vehicle operated by Joseph Pascale. The impact subsequently caused Chapman to rear-end the lead vehicle at the intersection. Chapman claimed to her neck and lower back. Chapman sued Pascale, alleging that the defendant was negligent in the operation of his vehicle. Specifically, Chapman claimed that Pascale was inattentive as he approached the intersection, and failed to slow and stop his vehicle in time to avoid the impact. Pascale admitted liability for the accident., Chapman was taken from the scene of the accident by ambulance and presented to an emergency room with neck and back complaints. She was subsequently examined via X-rays and was released. She then treated with chiropractic care for a year and was referred to a neurosurgeon, who performed a cervical CT scan, an MRI and a discogram. Chapman was ultimately diagnosed with multiple bulging cervical discs. As a result of Chapman’s complaints of residual pain and discomfort, the plaintiff’s treating neurosurgeon recommended neck surgery, which Chapman has not undergone yet. Chapman claimed she lost her job three months after the accident because she was unable to work at full capacity. She alleged that for the next three years, she only worked sporadically until she was able to find a new full-time job. She further claimed that she is a single mother and that her injury has affected her ability to care for her young son. Thus, Chapman sought recovery of damages, including $110,000 for past medical costs, $125,000 for future medical costs, $35,000 for past lost earnings, and an unspecified amount for past and future pain and suffering. Defense counsel asserted that Chapman did not sustain a serious injury from the accident, and merely sustained soft-tissue strains and sprains that should have resolved within six months. Counsel also disputed the plaintiff’s alleged need for future surgery. In addition, defense counsel contended that Chapman had a sporadic work history prior to the accident in question and that she actually lost her job due to a conflict with her superior.
Superior Court of Orange County, Santa Ana, CA

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