Case details

Plaintiff: Rear-end collision caused herniated cervical disc




Mediated Settlement

Result type

Not present

back, hands, herniated disc, neck, nerve impingement, nerve impingement head, neurological, shoulders, stenosis, wrists
On March 4, 2013, at approximately 3 p.m., plaintiff Kathleen “Katie” McNally, 37, a middle school teacher, was driving her sport utility vehicle on Peninsula Avenue, in Burlingame, on her way to bring her two daughters to get haircuts. While they were stopped for a red light at the intersection with N. Delaware Street, the SUV was rear-ended by a vehicle operated by Reda Elgawly. McNally claimed to her neck, back, shoulders, and hands/wrists. McNally sued Elgawly, alleging the defendant was negligent in the operation of his vehicle. McNally claimed she was the fifth or sixth vehicle back at the intersection when Elgawly rear-ended her SUV. She claimed the impact crumpled the steel frame of her SUV, causing $15,000 in damage, while Elgawly’s vehicle was declared a total loss. Elgawly claimed he was distracted from the road ahead of him when his glasses fell off his face and he had to reach down to retrieve them. Thus, he ultimately admitted to liability during litigation., On March 8, 2013, McNally presented to an orthopedic surgeon due to ongoing pain and soreness in her neck, which radiated into her shoulders, arms/wrists/hands, and lower back. The surgeon opined that McNally’s complaints stemmed from the accident, in which McNally’s head, neck and torso whipped backward then forward, and that the force of the movement traveled through McNally’s arms and down to hands, which were affixed to the steering wheel. Thus, McNally was diagnosed with strains and sprains of her neck and back, bilateral sprained wrists, and to her elbows. She was subsequently fitted with splints for her wrists, which she wore for one month, and prescribed both physical and occupational therapy. McNally ultimately underwent occupational therapy 10 times from March 14, 2013, through April 25, 2013, and underwent physical therapy 19 times from March 15, 2013, through Aug. 19, 2013. On March 27, 2013, McNally underwent an MRI of her cervical spine, which revealed a left-sided herniated disc at C5-6 and right-sided foraminal stenosis. (A prior X-ray of the cervical spine showed a loss of disc space at C5-6.) McNally was prescribed neuropathic medications to alleviate the pain caused by her nerve impingement and she continued to treat with her surgeon throughout 2013. In June 2014, McNally returned to her orthopedist with ongoing complaints and was prescribed another round of physical therapy, as well as epidural steroid injections. McNally claimed she will continue to follow up with her treating orthopedist on an as-needed basis, as she continues to experience chronic pain and discomfort. She alleged that her condition causes her to be unable to participate in physical activities, such as waterskiing and snow skiing. Thus, McNally sought recovery of $14,786.31 in past medical costs and $15,827.23 in past lost earnings for six weeks of missed work following the accident. She also sought recovery of damages for her past and future pain and suffering.
Superior Court of San Mateo County, San Mateo, CA

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