Case details

Plaintiff: Collision resulted in neck herniations, hip surgery





Result type

Not present

back, epidural injections, hip, knees, lumbar spine, neck, pain, sprains knees, strains
On Feb. 26, 2016, plaintiff Tommy Furr, a man in his mid-40s, was driving on Valley Boulevard, near Beech Avenue, in Fontana, when his sedan broadsided the driver’s side of a tow truck that was exiting a driveway and attempting to turn left onto Valley Boulevard. Furr claimed neck and hip . Furr sued the driver of the tow truck, Louis Sharples, and the tow truck company, United Towing Service Inc. Furr alleged that Sharples was negligent in the operation of the tow truck and that United Towing was vicariously liable for Sharples’ actions. Furr’s counsel faulted Sharples for making an improper left turn by crossing Furr’s lane of travel when Furr had the right-of-way. Sharples maintained that Furr’s speeding caused the accident. According to Sharples, he looked both ways and was assured a clear and safe distance; however, as he made the turn, Furr appeared out of nowhere, which indicated that he was driving at a high rate of speed., Furr was taken by ambulance to an emergency room, where he was examined and released. On March 2, 2016, four days after the collision, Furr presented to an orthopedic surgeon with complaints of pain to his neck, back, hips, and knees. The treating orthopedic surgeon subsequently put Furr on a one month course of physical therapy, which included massage treatment and exercise. Furr also underwent diagnostic studies, and was diagnosed with herniated cervical discs at the C5-6 and C6-7 level; an aggravation of a pre-existing, bilateral hip condition; and strains and sprains of his knees and lumbar spine. He later treated with a steroid injection to his hips. In November 2016, he underwent arthroplasties of both hips, which was followed by a brief course of physical therapy. No further treatment was rendered. Furr’s counsel causally related Furr’s and treatment to the accident. Furr alleged that he made a significant recovery following treatment and that he has almost returned to his pre-accident condition. However, he claimed he still experiences intermittent hip and neck pain. Thus, Furr sought recovery of $557,000 in past medical costs, and an unspecified amount of damages for his past and future pain and suffering. Defense counsel contended that Furr had underlying Grade I avascular necrosis that was not accelerated by the accident, prior subchondral fractures on both sides, and secondary osteoarthritis. Counsel also contended that there was evidence that the avascular necrosis was caused by Furr’s alleged alcoholism. Thus, defense counsel asserted that Furr’s hip replacements were the result of his longstanding, pre-existing arthritic condition and that Furr’s hip replacement surgeries would have occurred absent the accident. In addition, counsel asserted that Furr had epidural injections to the cervical spine that were not indicated, as there were no right, upper extremity radicular symptoms or neurological abnormalities.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles, CA

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