Freeway rear-ender leads to low offer but $169,289 verdict for neck injuries. Orange County.


Freeway rear-ender with admitted liability leads to dispute over neck injury. $30,000 offer (CCP 998) but $169,289 verdict plus interest.

The Case

  • Case Name: Sally Gordon v. Morteza Hosseini
  • Court and Case Number: : Orange County Superior/ 30-2011-00505721
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Thursday, November 15, 2012
  • Date Action was Filed: Monday, September 05, 2011
  • Type of Action: Vehicles - Auto vs. Auto
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Robert Moss
  • Plaintiffs:
    Sally Gordon, 60, bookkeeper
  • Defendants:
    Morteza Hosseini
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: $169,289
  • Economic Damages:

    Past: $53,289

    Future: $86,000

  • Non-Economic Damages:


  • Trial or Arbitration Time: 3 days
  • Jury Deliberation Time: 6 hours
  • Jury Polls: 6-0
  • Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: Defendant paid plaintiff an additional $18,816 in CCP 998 penalties.

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:
    Law Office of John P. Burns by John P. Burns, Newport Beach
  • Attorney for the Defendant:
    Maguire & Associates by Tobin Ando, Costa Mesa

The Experts

  • Plaintiff’s Medical Experts:
    Brent Smith, D.C., treating chiropractor, Irvine.
    Brian Irvine, D.C., chiropractor, Torrance.
    Standifored Helm, M.D., treating pain management specialist, Laguna Woods.
    Jeffrey Gross, M.D., treating neurosurgeon, Laguna Niguel.
  • Defendant's Medical Experts:
    Charles Rosen, M.D.,
  • Plaintiff's Technical Experts:
    John Gardiner, Ph.D.,
  • Defendant's Technical Experts:

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    Plaintiff's car was rear-ended on the 405 freeway in Irvine. Property damage to plaintiff's Honda Accord was in the amount of $1,800. Plaintiff sustained neck injuries.  Defendant admitted liability.

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    That plaintiff suffered a serious, life-long neck injury in the collision; that plaintiff was entitled to compensation for her past medical bills and past and future pain and suffering.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    Defendant contested severity of injury. Defense medical expert testified that plaintiff received no more than a strain/sprain which should have resolved after eight weeks of chiropractic treatment and that her hand and arm symptoms were from carpal tunnel syndrome.

Injuries and Other Damages

  • Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:

    Injury to cervical spine of neck, causing neck pain, left trapezius muscle pain, left arm pain and radiating numbness and tingling in plaintiff's left arm and hand.

    Post-accident MRI of plaintiff's neck showed 3.5 mm disc bulge. Nerve-block procedure showed nerve damage in plaintiff's neck at spinal level C5-C6.

  • Plaintiff's counsel had plaintiff's car re-inspected after repairs had been done and discovered that the internal rear bumper had not been replaced as was required. Defendant's carrier paid plaintiff an additional $369 for the additional property damage shortly before trial.

Special Damages

  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Medical: $53,289
  • Special Damages Claimed - Future Medical: $320,000 in life-long pain-management injections.

Demands and Offers

  • Plaintiff §998 Demand: $99,750
  • Defendant §998 Offer: $30,000


This is not an official court document. While the publisher believes the information to be accurate, the publisher does not guarantee it and the reader is advised not to rely upon it without consulting the official court documents or the attorneys of record in this matter who are listed above.

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