Case details

Plaintiff claimed spinal injuries following second crash





Result type

Not present

back, neck
On Oct. 19, 2009, plaintiff Kristi Lynch, 57, a dental hygienist, was coming to a stop at a stop sign in a parking lot behind a strip mall on Mt. Diablo Boulevard in Lafayette, when the right passenger side of her 1994 Toyota pickup truck was struck by a reversing vehicle operated by Noah Shafi. Nine days later, on Oct. 28, 2009, Lynch was operating the same pickup truck on Calaveras Boulevard in Milpitas and stopped at an intersection, when her truck was rear-ended by a vehicle operated by Prakash Lingampalli. Lynch claimed to her neck and back. Lynch sued both Shafi and Lingampalli. She alleged that Shafi and Lingampalli were negligent in the operation of their respective vehicles. The case proceeded under an expedited trial agreement among the parties. Lynch contended that Shafi failed to notice her vehicle when he was reversing, causing the first collision. She also contended that Lingampalli indicated after the accident on Oct. 28, 2009, that he did not see her as that the sun was in his eyes. Thus, Lynch claimed that Lingampalli was liable for the second collision. Shafi admitted liability going into the trial., After the first incident, Lynch claimed that she generally felt fine. She saw a massage therapist between the accidents, but claimed that she initially felt no symptoms from the first accident. However, after the second accident, Lynch claimed pain in her neck and back. As a result, the day after the second accident, she saw a chiropractor and qualified medical examiner, who performed an ultrasound and X-rays, and treated her with chiropractic adjustments and massage. Lynch also claimed headaches and some radiating pain through her arms. Lynch missed some time from her job, which she claimed caused her to lose $13,975 in wages. She also claimed she lost the value of the bonus system at the dentist’s offices where she worked, which would have totaled around $1,000. In addition, she claimed her medical bills amounted to $8,255. Lynch alleged her limited her in the activities she previously enjoyed, including hiking and yoga. She also alleged that when she has a hard day at work, she expects to be sore and uncomfortable during and after work. As a result, Lynch claimed that she does not expect to have a full recovery, as her symptoms have not improved over more than three years. Thus, according to defense counsel, plaintiff’s counsel asked the jury to award Lynch $30,000 in general damages and $30,000 in future general damages. Shafi’s counsel argued that the first accident did not cause Lynch’s . Counsel for both Shafi and Lingampalli questioned the reasonableness and necessity of prolonged chiropractic and massage therapy, and contended that the treatments and costs were excessive. Counsel also argued that the damages claimed were unreasonable.
Superior Court of Alameda County, Oakland, CA

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