Case details

Plaintiffs claimed rear-end crash caused spinal injuries





Result type

Not present

back, neck
On Aug. 18, 2010, plaintiff Jesse Woods, 42, a mechanic, was driving his Dodge Dakota in Victorville with his wife, plaintiff Yvonne Woods, 48, an owner of a child care business, as a passenger when their vehicle was rear-ended by a GMC Sierra driven by Joseph Soto. The Woods’ vehicle had frame damage, while Soto’s vehicle was totaled. Mrs. Woods claimed to her neck, back and shoulder, while Mr. Woods claimed to his neck and back. Mr. and Mrs. Woods sued Soto, alleging that Soto was negligent in the operation of his vehicle. Soto did not dispute liability., Mr. and Mrs. Woods drove away from the accident scene and presented to an emergency room. Mr. Woods claimed he suffered soft-tissue to his back, neck and shoulder from the accident. He subsequently treated with a chiropractor from Aug. 30, 2010, through Oct. 28, 2010. However, he claimed he still suffers from ongoing problems, including pain. Mrs. Woods claimed she suffered to her neck, back and shoulder. She also treated with the same chiropractor starting on Aug. 30, 2010. She then continued with treatment through Nov. 29, 2010. However, Ms. Woods claimed she suffers ongoing residual issues with her neck and back, including radiating pain and numbness in her hands and arms. Despite both Mr. and Mrs. Woods complaining of ongoing problems, their treating chiropractor and expert orthopedic surgeon both testified that the plaintiffs did not need further treatment. Thus, Mr. Woods sought recovery of $29,000 for his past medical costs base on his hospital and chiropractor bills, and Mrs. Woods sought recovery of $25,000 for her past medical costs base on her hospital and chiropractor bills. They also each sought recovery of damages for their respective pain and suffering. Defense counsel stipulated to the plaintiffs’ past medical costs, but disputed the plaintiffs’ alleged general damages. Counsel contended that Mr. and Mrs. Woods were able to drive away from the scene and that the plaintiffs only began treatment with a chiropractor approximately two weeks later, after first going to an attorney who referred them to the chiropractor. Counsel also contended that neither Mr. Woods nor Mrs. Woods has received any treatment since they stopped going to the chiropractor. Defense counsel further contended that that some of the plaintiffs’ alleged residual issues were inconsistent with what was indicated by testimony that was presented. Specifically, counsel contended that Mrs. Woods’ claim of ongoing problems at trial was inconsistent with what she said earlier. Thus, defense counsel argued that Mr. and Mrs. Woods only sustained minor soft-tissue , which have since resolved, and that the plaintiffs’ were not as bad as they alleged.
Superior Court of San Bernardino County, San Bernardino, CA

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