Case details

Plaintiff should have recovered from strains and sprains: defense





Result type

Not present

back, bulging disc, cervical, degenerative disc condition, exacerbation of, lumbar, neck, neurological, radicular pain, radiculitis, sprain, strain
On Nov. 9, 2016, plaintiff Rosa Molina, 47, a self-employed housekeeper, was driving on U.S. Route 101, also known as the Ventura Freeway, in Woodland Hills, a neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles. When she was near the exit for De Soto Avenue, her vehicle was rear-ended by a vehicle operated by Bettina Loellhull. The impact caused Molina’s vehicle to rear-end the vehicle in front of her. Molina claimed to her neck and back. Molina sued Loellhull, alleging that Loellhull was negligent in the operation of her vehicle. Loellhull admitted liability., Two days after the accident, Molina presented to an orthopedic doctor with complaints of back and neck pain with numbness in her hands, and radiating pain into her buttocks and lower legs. Molina claimed she suffered cervical disc bulges, and sprains and sprains to her shoulders and lower back. She also claimed the accident caused radiating pain to her upper and lower extremities. Molina underwent 28 sessions of conservative physical therapy treatment. The plaintiff’s treating orthopedic surgery expert opined that Molina suffered an aggravation of a pre-existing degenerative condition to her neck and lower back. He also opined that Molina would need cervical and lumbar epidural steroid injections, cervical and lumbar discectomies, and cervical and lumbar fusions. Molina sought recovery of past and future medical costs, past and future lost earnings, and damages for her past and future pain and suffering. Plaintiff’s counsel asked the jury to award Molina $125,000 in total damages. Defense counsel argued that the accident caused only sprains and strains, which justified only a few thousand dollars of monetary compensation for examinations, X-rays and a reasonable amount of therapy. As a result, defense counsel asked the jury to award Molina only $6,500 in total damages.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Van Nuys, CA

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