Case details

Plaintiff’s neck pain unrelated to crash, defense alleged





Result type

Not present

bulging disc, cervical, neck
On April 6, 2016, plaintiff Timothy McPherson, 56, a senior managing accountant for Sacramento County, was stopped at a red light on Sierra College Boulevard, near Olympus Drive in Roseville, when his vehicle rear-ended by a vehicle operated by Gail Jenkins. McPherson claimed to his neck. McPherson sued Gail Jenkins and the co-owner of Ms. Jenkins’ vehicle, Richard Jenkins. McPherson alleged that Ms. Jenkins was negligent in the operation of her vehicle and that Mr. Jenkins was vicariously liable for Ms. Jenkins’ actions. Mr. Jenkins was ultimately dismissed from the case before trial. McPherson claimed that he was stopped for a red traffic light when Ms. Jenkins’ vehicle struck his vehicle, pushing it 15 feet into the intersection. Ms. Jenkins contended that her vehicle was stopped behind McPherson’s vehicle and that she was trying to kick off her shoe when her vehicle rolled into the rear of McPherson’s vehicle. Thus, Ms. Jenkins accepted liability for the accident, but maintained it was a low-speed impact., McPherson presented to his primary care physician at a Kaiser facility the day after the subject collision. He presented to his doctor for treatment of a tongue lesion, unrelated to the subject accident. He also complained of neck and back pain, which he alleged was related to the subject accident. McPherson claimed that he sustained a bulging cervical disc, which caused his neck pain. He also initially claimed that he had right kidney bruising and associated lower back pain related to the subject accident, but his pain was later discovered to be caused by a kidney stone. McPherson had a prior history of kidney issues and he discussed his kidney and lower back two times during the five total visits with his primary care physician in the year following the accident. He ultimately passed the kidney stone 90 days after the subject accident, and he waived his claims of kidney and lower back issues. McPherson complained of neck pain to the Kaiser facility throughout the one-year following the accident. During that time, in January 2017, he had a skiing accident, which resulted in an abscess on his shin. McPherson claimed that the treatment he received for the abscess delayed any treatment he needed for his neck. Then, two years after the subject motor vehicle accident, McPherson underwent imaging on his neck and was determined to have a bulging cervical disc, which McPherson claimed was related to the subject crash. In April 2018, McPherson’s insurance changed, so he began seeing his primary physician at Sutter Health. That doctor suggested that McPherson undergo chiropractic treatment after McPherson first mentioned his neck pain. The physician then referred McPherson for physical therapy, and McPherson underwent nine physical therapy visits from May 24, 2018, to July 27, 2018. McPherson then underwent chiropractic treatment from January 2019 until April 2019. McPherson claimed that his neck pain is ongoing and that he now gets tired more often and has trouble sitting for long periods of time. As a result, he was referred to an orthopedic surgeon, who recommended a platelet rich plasma injection and a potential epidural injection in the future. McPherson also claimed that he suffers from general neck pain when he sits for too long at work and that as a result, he lost $400 in wages during the first year following the accident and that he missed additional hours from work for his medical appointments. However, he did not make a specific accounting of the hours he missed from work. McPherson sought recovery of $12,849.60 for his past medical costs, an unspecified amount for his future medical costs, and an unspecified amount for his past and future loss of wages. He also sought recovery of damages for his past and future pain and suffering. In total, plaintiff’s counsel asked the jury to award McPherson $160,000. Defense counsel contended that McPherson’s initial neck and back complaints to his Kaiser doctor were related to the kidney stone and that McPherson sustained no in the subject motor vehicle accident. Counsel also contended that McPherson’s alleged were either pre-existing or a result of his skiing accident. The defense’s expert orthopedic surgeon conceded that McPherson might have sustained a potential soft tissue injury to his neck, but opined that the injury should have resolved within six months of the subject accident.
Superior Court of Placer County, Placer, CA

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