Case details

Rear-end crash aggravated lower back condition: plaintiff





Result type

Not present

back, hip, left hip, neck, shoulder, soft tissue, sprains shoulder, strains
On Jan. 20, 2011, at approximately 9 a.m., plaintiff Elizabeth Stevenson, 30, a pharmaceutical sales representative, was driving on Bolsa Chica Road in Westminster when she stopped at the intersection with Loyola Avenue and was rear-ended by a vehicle operated by Atashi Mandal. Stevenson claimed to her neck, back, shoulder, and left hip. Stevenson sued Mandal, alleging the defendant was negligent in the operation of her vehicle. Specifically, Stevenson contended that Mandal — a resident at a nearby hospital who had just finished an overnight shift — fell asleep behind the wheel, causing the rear-end collision. Mandal did not dispute liability for the accident., Stevenson was taken by ambulance to an emergency room, where she complained of pain in her neck, back, and both shoulders. She also complained of a hip pointer injury. Stevenson was treated and released into the care of a workers’ compensation physician, as Stevenson was on a work call at the time of the accident. She then treated through her worker’s compensation carrier for roughly seven to eight months, receiving neurologic and orthopedic evaluations, as well as physical therapy. Stevenson claimed her lower back injury aggravated a pre-existing scoliosis condition that developed during her pregnancy. She alleged that as a result, she still experiences lower back pain and discomfort, mostly when driving long distances. Stevenson claimed that due to her condition, she lost her job and is still receiving physical therapy on an as-needed basis. Thus, Stevenson sought recovery of damages for her pain and suffering. Defense counsel contended that Stevenson’s ongoing complaints were related to her pre-existing lower back condition and that Stevenson over-treated for all of her alleged .
Superior Court of Orange County, Santa Ana, CA

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