Case details

Plaintiff’s injuries not as severe as alleged, defense claimed





Result type

Not present

back, facet arthropathy, inflammation sacroiliac joints, left leg, numbness, radicular pain, sacroiliitis, weakness right leg
In April 2013, plaintiff David Miranda, 43, a self-employed barber shop owner/barber, was driving on the northbound side of L Street, in Bakersfield, when he stopped at a red light at its intersection with 24th Street. Meanwhile, Danielle Mayfield was driving westbound on 24th Street, toward its intersection with L Street. As Miranda proceeded into the intersection, his vehicle’s passenger side was broadsided by Mayfield’s vehicle. Miranda claimed to his back. Miranda sued Mayfield, alleging that the defendant was negligent in the operation of her vehicle. Miranda claimed that he looked for traffic before proceeding into the intersection, but that Mayfield ran a red light and broadsided the passenger’s side of his vehicle. Two independent witnesses who were stopped next to Miranda at the intersection claimed that Miranda had green light at the moment of impact, and that Mayfield ran a red light. Mayfield claimed that the signal for westbound traffic on 24th Street turned green as she entered the intersection., Approximately one month after the accident, Miranda sought medical treatment for alleged back pain. He claimed he sustained a herniated lumbar disc at the L4-5 level. He also claimed he suffered from sacroiliitis, or an inflammation of his sacroiliac joints, and facet arthropathy with radicular pain, numbness and weakness in his right leg, which spread to his left leg. He subsequently underwent X-rays of his lumbar spine on May 6, 2013 and MRIs of his lumbar spine on May 10, 2013. Miranda also sought conservative treatment for his . He initially treated with a chiropractor, and he underwent sacroiliac joint blocks and received six epidural injections to his back. In March 2015, he underwent a bilateral micro-discectomy at L4-5. However, Miranda claimed that he developed a staph infection as a result of the procedure, requiring irrigation and debridement after three weeks had passed. Miranda acknowledged that he had a pre-existing facet arthropathy and degenerative disc disease, but he claimed that his conditions were asymptomatic for more than 22 years. Thus, he sought recovery of damages for his past and future pain and suffering, and recovery for his past and future medical expenses. Defense counsel challenged Miranda’s credibility, arguing that Miranda’s treatment was attorney-driven. Defense counsel argued that Miranda did not sustain a lumbar disc herniation, and contended that Miranda only suffered from cervical and lumbar sprains and strains that should have been resolved within three-to-six months of the accident. She also contended that Miranda stopped further medical treatment after the first eight months following the accident and that Miranda did not follow his treating doctor’s instructions to retain pain management treatment, but later followed his attorney’s request to undergo pain management treatment. Specifically, defense counsel argued that Miranda stopped treating his for three months and then resumed treatment with physicians referred to him by his attorney. Counsel also argued that treatments with Miranda’s attorney-referred doctors were on a lien and that Miranda filed the lawsuit against Mayfield one month after plaintiff’s counsel referred Miranda to treating doctors. Further, defense counsel argued that, during depositions, Miranda lied about his travel restrictions following the accident. Counsel contended that Miranda later admitted that he lied when he stated he had not been on a vacation or out of his hometown city since the accident. Defense counsel noted that within the six months after the accident, Miranda had gotten married in Las Vegas; flew to Washington for the birth of his grandchild; traveled to San Diego and Camp Pendleton for his son-in-law’s graduation from boot camp; drove to Nevada; and visited Disneyland at least twice, where he rode rides. Thus, defense counsel argued that Miranda would require no future medical care in relation to the accident and that any future surgery or medical treatment would be a result of Miranda’s pre-existing, degenerative conditions, and not a result of the accident. Thus, defense counsel contended that the only past medical specials related to the accident was $5,416 and that no future medical treatment was necessary.
Superior Court of Kern County, Bakersfield, CA

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