Case details

Plaintiff: Crash with underinsured driver caused cardiomyopathy





Result type

Not present

back, chest pain, neck pelvis, shoulder
At around 4 p.m. on Aug. 23, 2013, plaintiff Kelley Hedges, 56, was driving on northbound North Midway Drive, toward the intersection with East Mission Avenue, in Escondido. At the same time, another driver, Joshua Tyes, was driving on southbound North Midway Drive, approaching East Mission Avenue. As the vehicles reached the intersection, Tyes attempted a left turn in front of Hedges’ path of travel. Hedges subsequently swerved in an attempt to avoid a collision, but he was unable to do so. As a result, Tyes’ vehicle struck the front, left portion of Hedges’ vehicle, and Hedges claimed to his shoulder, neck, pelvis, back and chest. Tyes’ insurance carrier ultimately tendered Tyes’ $15,000 policy limits (Hedges v. Tyes, Docket No. 37-2014-00083016-CU-PA-CTL). Hedges then sought further recovery via the supplementary-underinsured-motorist provision of his own insurance policy, which was administered by Allstate Indemnity Co. The matter was set to proceed to arbitration. Neither Tyes’ insurer nor Allstate contested that Tyes was 100 percent at-fault for the collision., One day after the collision, Hedges sought medical care for alleged to his right, dominant shoulder; neck; pelvis; and back. Approximately one week later, he complained of chest pain. Hedges claimed that his neck and back pain resolved, but that the pain in his shoulder and chest continued. The plaintiff’s cardiologist ultimately diagnosed Hedges with cardiomyopathy and opined that it was most likely related to the accident. Hedges’ claimed that his shoulder pain is ongoing. Thus, he sought recovery of approximately $5,000 in past medical costs and an unspecified amount in future medical costs. He also sought recovery of damages for his past and future pain and suffering. Allstate’s counsel contended that Hedges’ shoulder problems were pre-existing, as Hedges had previously undergone two surgeries on his right shoulder. Counsel also contended that the cardiomyopathy, if it was caused by the accident, had resolved and no longer posed Hedges any problems.
San Diego County Superior Court, North County, CA

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