Case details

Plaintiff: Rear-ender aggravated neck issues and tore shoulder





Result type

Not present

neck, right shoulder
In February 2011, plaintiff Cynthia Mickelsen, a retired 62 year old, was a passenger in a vehicle on the Robert T. Monagan Freeway, also known as Interstate 205, when her vehicle was rear-ended by a vehicle operated by Helen Barber. Mickelsen claimed to her right shoulder and neck. Mickelsen sued Barber, alleging that Barber was negligent in the operation of her vehicle. Barber admitted liability at trial., Mickelsen claimed to her neck and right, dominant shoulder. She was subsequently taken by ambulance to a hospital, where she was diagnosed with two partial tears of the right shoulder’s rotator cuff. Mickelsen claimed that the accident aggravated a pre-existing neck condition, resulting in the need for ongoing treatment. She ultimately underwent rhizotomies in an attempt to treat her pain. Mickelsen claimed that she continues to have problems with both her shoulder and neck. She alleged that as a result, she will continue to need treatment for her neck and that will probably require surgery on her shoulder. The plaintiff’s treating orthopedic surgeon testified that the rotator cuff tears were accident-related and traumatically induced. The plaintiff’s treating neurologist testified that Mickelsen had prior neck issues and that the accident aggravated them. Mickelsen sought recovery of $25,000 in past medical costs and an unspecified amount in future medical costs. She also sought recovery of damages for her past and future pain and suffering. Plaintiff’s counsel noted that after trial, Mickelsen underwent a rotator cuff repair surgery. The defense’s expert orthopedic surgeon opined that the rotator cuff tears were just erosions and that they were due to the degenerative process over time and not traumatically induced. Thus, he opined that only two to three months of treatment were reasonable and necessary.
Superior Court of San Joaquin County, Stockton, CA

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