Case details

Sisters each claimed back injuries from broadside collision





Result type

Not present

back, lower back, neck
On Dec. 2, 2010, plaintiff Maria Rodriguez, 54, an entertainment producer, was a passenger in a vehicle driven by her sister, plaintiff Rosa Rodriguez, 42, a sales employee, on Emerald Avenue in La Verne. As they entered the intersection with Foothill Boulevard, their vehicle was broadsided by a vehicle operated by Denise Parkson. Rosa and Maria Rodriguez both claimed to their back. Maria and Rosa Rodriguez sued Denise Parkson and the owner of Denise Parkson’s vehicle, Barbara Parkson, Denise Parkson’s mother. The Rodriguez sisters alleged that Denise Parkson was negligent in the operation of her vehicle and that Barbara Parkson was vicariously liable for her daughter’s actions. Plaintiffs’ counsel contended that Denise Parkson ran a red light on Foothill Boulevard, causing the accident. The defendants admitted liability., Paramedics transported Maria and Rosa Rodriguez from the scene of the accident to San Dimas Community Hospital, in San Dimas, for assessment of their respective . Maria Rodriguez complained of pain in her lower back. At the hospital, she was examined and released. She then sought treatment with a chiropractor from Dec. 6, 2010, through April 1, 2011, at which time she was discharged with a “guarded prognosis.” Maria Rodriguez then sought treatment with another chiropractor from Oct.16, 2011, through Jan. 19, 2012. After that, she treated with the plaintiffs’ orthopedic surgery expert from Feb. 1, 2012, through May 14, 2012. The surgeon subsequently referred Maria Rodriguez to her treating expert anesthesiologist for a series of three epidural injections. Thereafter, the anesthesiologist opined that Maria Rodriguez was a “good candidate” for a lumbar fusion. As a result, Maria Rodriguez presented to the plaintiff’s treating neurosurgery expert on three occasions, beginning on Oct. 16, 2012, and ending on April 13, 2013. The neurosurgeon advised Maria Rodriguez to seek physical therapy, and ordered a second MRI of the lumbar spine. Maria Rodriguez subsequently received physical therapy from West Star Physical Therapy from Jan. 29, 2013, through April 27, 2013. She incurred medical expenses in the amount of $83,276. Based on the second MRI taken of Maria Rodriguez’s lumbar spine, the plaintiffs’ treating neurosurgery expert testified that Maria Rodriguez needed surgery on her lumbar spine and that the cost of this surgery was approximately $65,000 to $75,000. The plaintiffs’ treating orthopedic surgery expert estimated that this surgery would cost closer to approximately $120,000, which included the cost of the surgeon, assistant surgeon, anesthesiologist, surgical facility and rehabilitation. Maria Rodriguez worked in the Mexican entertainment industry as a producer. At the time of the accident, she decided to freelance. However, she claimed she lost out on opportunities due to her . Maria Rodriguez claimed that she is now limited physically and has pain radiating down both legs, with the pain being greater on the right side than on the left. She also claimed that when she experiences the pain, it necessitates her lying still on the floor and that it sometimes takes the entire day until the pain subsides. Maria Rodriguez alleged that she has tried extension physical therapy, home exercises and epidural injections, but that the only alternative left is a lumbar fusion, which she still requires. Rosa Rodriguez injured her neck and lower back. She was also treated and released from San Dimas Community Hospital, as well as was treated by a chiropractor, the plaintiffs’ treating orthopedic surgery expert and the plaintiffs’ treating neurosurgery expert. Rosa Rodriguez incurred medical expenses in the amount of $22,766. Rosa Rodriguez claimed she was limited in her range of motion following the accident. She also claimed that since she worked in sales, she suffered a loss of earnings from her position due to her . Defense counsel stipulated as to the amount of medical expenses, but argued that the plaintiffs’ medical treatments were not reasonable or necessary. The defense’s orthopedic surgery expert opined that both plaintiffs only sustained soft-tissue and that the plaintiffs should have recovered. The expert further opined that, if anything, the plaintiffs’ treatments after April 1, 2011, were unreasonable and unnecessary.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Pomona, CA

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