Case details

Plaintiff: Collision caused neck, shoulder and knee injuries





Result type

Not present

back, degenerative disc condition, exacerbation of, exacerbation of neck, left shoulder, neck, right knee, scalp
On March 10, 2011, at approximately 10 a.m., plaintiff Douglas Siegfried, 54, a courier, was parked in a pickup truck on Wheatlands Avenue in La Mesa as a vehicle operated by Marcie Atkinson, a city of La Mesa reserve officer, exited a nearby parking lot and broadsided the driver’s side of Siegfried’s vehicle. Siegfried claimed to his scalp, neck, left shoulder, and right knee. Siegfried sued Atkinson and the owner of Atkinson’s vehicle, the city of La Mesa, which was also Atkinson’s employer. Siegfried alleged that Atkinson was negligent in the operation of her vehicle and that the city was vicariously liable for Atkinson’s actions through the course and scope of her employment. Siegfried’s workers’ compensation carrier, Care West Insurance Co., filed an action as an intervening plaintiff, and the cases became consolidated. Siegfried contended that Atkinson hit her gas pedal instead of her brakes while exiting the parking lot, causing the vehicle to accelerate into the driver’s side of his parked pickup truck at roughly 47 mph. Atkinson and the city admitted liability for the accident., Siegfried sustained a scalp laceration and had complaints of neck, left shoulder, and right knee pain. He was subsequently taken by ambulance to an emergency room, where he was treated and released. Siegfried was then referred to a workers’ compensation physician and was diagnosed with a traumatic tear of the left rotator cuff, as well as exacerbations of osteoarthritic conditions in his neck and right knee. He received physical therapy and epidural injections for his neck. He also underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder and a left ulnar nerve transposition. Siegfried has been discharged from his worker’s compensation physician, but claimed he will eventually require a right knee replacement. He also claimed that he had suffered limited range of motion in his left shoulder and elbow, but that his neck condition has resolved. However, Siegfried claimed that due to his residual knee and arm conditions, he can no longer play golf and has stopped riding his dirt bike. Siegfried missed 1.5 years of work, resulting in $35,000 in total lost earnings. He also claimed $35,000 in past medical costs and $50,000 in future medical costs for the future knee replacement. In addition, Siegfried sought recovery of damages for his pain and suffering. Care West sought to recover a $70,000 workers’ compensation lien. Defense counsel contended that all of Siegfried’s injury complaints were caused by pre-existing, degenerative conditions related to his osteoarthritis, which was evident in films. Counsel also contended that Siegfried’s need for a future right knee replacement was unrelated to the accident and due to his pre-existing, degenerative condition.
Superior Court of San Diego County, San Diego, CA

Recommended Experts


Get a FREE consultation for your case