Case details

Plaintiff’s spinal injuries should have resolved, defense argued





Result type

Not present

burning neck, cervical, left arm, loss of lordosis of spine, muscoskeletal spasms, pain, shoulder, strains, thoracic sprains
In April 2013, plaintiff Erika Pospichal, 31, a student at the University of California, San Diego, was traveling in her 2007 Toyota Yaris on Interstate 5, in San Diego, when her vehicle was rear-ended by a 2001 Honda Accord operated by Simone Aguilar. The impact caused Pospichal’s vehicle to be propelled forward and strike a Nissan Quest van. Pospichal claimed to her neck, back and left shoulder. Pospichal sued Simone Aguilar and the believed owner of the Nissan Quest, Simone Aguilar’s mother, Juanita Aguilar. Pospichal alleged that Simone Aguilar was negligent in the operation of the van and that Juanita Aguilar was vicariously liable for her daughter’s actions. Juanita Aguilar was ultimately dismissed from the case, and Simone Aguilar conceded liability., Pospichal claimed the double impact caused her to injure her left, non-dominant arm inside her vehicle. A few days after the accident, she went to Urgent Care at University of California, San Diego, Medical Center. Pospichal claimed that she started having pain immediately after the accident, but that she waited to see if it would go away before ultimately deciding to go to Urgent Care. Pospichal claimed that X-rays showed a loss of lordosis of her spine and muscoskeletal spasms. The plaintiff’s treating chiropractor testified about Pospichal complaining of pain and burning in her neck and shoulder that radiated into her left arm. At the time of the accident, Pospichal was unmarried and a student at UCSD. In June 2013, she went to study art abroad in Paris for 10 weeks and then spent a few weeks in Belgium with her fiancé on their honeymoon. However, Pospichal claimed that she couldn’t carry any bags during her honeymoon. She also claimed that she is an artist and heavily involved in art, but that after the accident she had difficulty gripping things and now has a hard time holding her paint palette with her left hand. In addition, Pospichal claimed that she cannot hold her baby, which she had in May 2015, with her left arm and that it was difficult to hold anything for long periods of time. Plaintiff’s counsel contended that Pospichal’s vehicle sustained frame damage that cost $6,373.08 to repair damage and took five hours to fix. Simone Aguilar’s vehicle had $2,679.19 in damages. Thus, plaintiff’s counsel argued that the double impact and frame damage were evidence of a significant impact that caused Pospichal’s . Pospichal had $6,787 in past medical expenses, which were reduced to $3,795 under Howell. Thus, she sought recovery of the $3,795 in past medical costs, plus $15,000 to $20,000 in damages for her pain and suffering. The defense’s orthopedic surgery expert reviewed Pospichal’s medical records and opined that Pospichal just suffered cervical and thoracic sprains and strains. He also opined that Pospichal’s should have been resolved within six to eight weeks of the accident.
Superior Court of San Diego County, San Diego, CA

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