Case details

Rear-end collision caused lumbar injuries, plaintiff alleged





Result type

Not present

lower back, pain, soft tissue
On Feb. 4, 2014, plaintiff John Jacobs, 42, a tree trimmer, was driving a Chevy Tahoe on Convoy Street, near the entrance to Interstate 52 West, when he came to a stop due to traffic. While stopped, Jacobs was rear-ended by a van driven by an employee of Cubic Corp., which also owed the vehicle. Jacobs alleged to his lower back. Jacobs sued Cubic Corp. He alleged that the van driver, acting in his capacity as a Cubic Corp. employee, failed to control his speed or keep a proper lookout. Jacobs also alleged that the van collided with the rear of his vehicle at a speed between 25 and 35 mph. Cubic Corp. stipulated to negligence., Jacobs claimed he sustained a 5-millimeter lumbar disc protrusion at the L4-5 level and a 2-millimeter lumbar protrusion at the L5-S1 level. He subsequently underwent emergency room treatment on the day of the collision. He then underwent 43 sessions of chiropractic treatment between February 2014 and December 2014, as well as received six facet injections. The plaintiff’s treating neurosurgeon testified that Jacobs will require a lumbar fusion at L4-5 within the next five years. The plaintiff’s vocational expert testified that Jacobs’ will significantly shorten his career as a tree trimmer, as Jacobs will be unable to perform the physical activities required of the job. Plaintiff’s counsel also maintained that Jacobs regularly kayaked, fished, golfed and camped before the collision and that Jacobs had been anticipating participating in these activities with his newborn child, but that his have rendered him unable to do so. Thus, Jacobs sought recovery of damages for his past and future pain and suffering, physical impairment, medical expenses, and lost income. Defense counsel argued that Jacob’s were merely soft-tissue and that Jacobs’ treatment was excessive and unnecessary. Counsel also argued that Jacob’s were pre-existing conditions caused by manual labor on his job. The defense’s expert neurosurgeon opined that Jacobs had fully recovered and would not require surgery.
Superior Court of San Diego County, San Diego, CA

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