Case details

Plaintiff: Medical care necessary to treat sprains and strains





Result type

Not present

back, cervical, cervical elbow, lumbar, neck, sprain, strain
On May 15, 2015, plaintiff Alexander Mitsicourides, 36, a high school teacher, was driving on northbound Interstate 5, also known as the Century Freeway or the Glenn Anderson Freeway, in Los Angeles. When he was just south of the interchange with Interstate 110, also known as the Harbor Freeway and Transit Way, his vehicle was rear-ended by a vehicle operated by Rodolfo Salar. Mitsicourides claimed to his neck, back, left elbow and right shoulder. Mitsicourides sued Rodolfo Salar and the co-owner of Mr. Salar’s vehicle, Maria Salar. Mitsicourides alleged that Mr. Salar was negligent in the operation of his vehicle and that Ms. Salar was vicariously liable for Mr. Salar’s actions. Mitsicourides dismissed the claims against Ms. Salar several months before trial. Mr. Salar alleged that Mitsicourides had unreasonably stopped in the roadway, causing the crash. Judge Patrick Madden granted plaintiff’s counsel’s motion for a directed verdict on liability and causation, so the jury only decided comparative fault and damages., Mitsicourides claimed he sustained chronic soft tissue sprains and strains to his neck, back, left elbow and right shoulder. He first treated with an orthopedist two days after the crash. He received physical therapy, orthopedic consultations and three series of trigger point injections. Mitsicourides claimed that his condition improved after his first three months of medical treatment, but that he continued to experience pain in his neck and lower back after performing certain physical activities. The plaintiff’s expert orthopedic surgeon opined that Mitsicourides suffered sprain to his neck, back, elbow and shoulder. He also opined that the reasonable value of Mitsicourides’ past medical treatment amounted to $14,375 and that Mitsicourides should fully recover within one year after trial. Mitsicourides sought recovery of $14,375 in past medical costs, and an unspecified amount of damages for his past and pain and suffering. He did not allege lost earnings or future medical costs. Defense counsel argued that Mitsicourides should have healed within eight weeks and that Mitsicourides’ reasonable medical bills should have totaled only $4,000. The defense’s expert orthopedic surgeon opined that the reasonable charges for Mitsicourides’ medical treatment should have totaled $7,425 and that Mitsicourides should have healed within eight weeks. He also opined that one of the three trigger point injections, the third injection, was medically unnecessary, while two of the trigger point injections were medically reasonable.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Long Beach, CA

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