Case details

Plaintiff: High-speed rear-ender aggravated lower back injury





Result type

Not present

back, neck, spondylolisthesis
On Jan. 29, 2012, at approximately 5:55 p.m., plaintiff Jody Talmadge, 35, a graphic designer/Web page designer, was driving in the southbound number four lane of the Hollywood Freeway in Los Angeles when she was rear-ended by a vehicle operated by Sheng Jie Liu. Talmadge claimed to her neck and back. Talmadge sued Liu, alleging the defendant was negligent in the operation of her vehicle. Talmadge claimed that Liu was driving too fast for the traffic conditions and struck her vehicle at a high rate of speed. Liu admitted liability for the accident, and the matter proceeded to a trial on causation and damages., Talmadge claimed her pre-existing spondylolisthesis was aggravated in the collision, causing increased daily pain in her lower back. Thus, she sought treatment three days after the accident. Talmadge claimed that before the accident, she suffered from neck and back complaints for six years, and had been treating with chiropractic care and acupuncture. She claimed that as a result, she continued to treat with chiropractic care and acupuncture after the accident. However, Talmadge claimed that two months after the accident, she was still symptomatic and sought treatment with a neurosurgeon, who recommended a lumbar spinal fusion due to the pre-existing spondylolisthesis being unstable. Talmadge ultimately elected not to have surgery and was involved in a subsequent collision in 2013. Thereafter, she continued to treat conservatively. Talmadge claimed she owned her own company at the time of the accident, where she was hired on a project basis. However, she claimed she was not able to work at full capacity after the January 2012 collision. Thus, Talmadge sought recovery of roughly $60,000 in past lost earnings, $7,356.72 in past medical costs, and $160,000 to $180,000 in future surgical costs. She also sought recovery of damages for her past and future pain and suffering. Defense counsel argued that Talmadge’s lower back condition pre-existed the accident, and that Talmadge’s lost earnings and need for future medical treatment were unrelated to the subject accident.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles, CA

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