Case details

Rear-ender caused ongoing back and neck pain: plaintiffs





Result type

Not present

back, neck, soft tissue
At approximately 4 p.m. on Jan. 21, 2010, plaintiff Virginia Gidney, an unemployed 57-year-old, and her daughter, plaintiff Melissa Ramirez, 18, were stopped for a red light on eastbound Cameron Avenue, at the intersection of Sunset Boulevard in West Covina, when they were rear-ended by a vehicle operated by Dorothy Neilson. Gidney (who was behind the wheel at the time of the crash) and Melissa (who was in the front passenger seat) each claimed neck and back . Gidney and Melissa sued Neilson, alleging that she was negligent in the operation of her vehicle. However, Neilson passed away after the accident and had to be substituted by her estate in the action. Gidney and Melissa claimed that the force of impact pushed their vehicle approximately two to three feet forward. They alleged that Neilson was inattentive at the time of the accident and failed to stop her vehicle on time. Defense counsel admitted that Neilson was liable for the accident, and the matter proceeded to a trial on causation and damages., Gidney and Melissa were not treated at the scene of the accident and first sought treatment for pain three months after the collision. They then followed up with chiropractic care for three months, as well regular visits with a physician, who diagnosed them with soft-tissue . Despite treatment, Gidney and Melissa claimed that they suffer ongoing neck and back pain, which restricts their general physical activities. In addition, Melissa missed some school for doctor appointments. Thus, the plaintiffs each claimed $3,800 in past medical costs for chiropractic care and each sought recovery of an unspecified amount in damages for their past and future pain and suffering. Defense counsel contended that the accident in question was too minor to cause any serious bodily injury to either plaintiff. The defense’s accident reconstruction expert opined that the delta-v was no more than 10 mph, and that any sustained by the plaintiffs were minor and resolved quickly.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, West Covina, CA

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