19-year-old injured in rear-ender waits 17 days to seek treatment. $750K. Kern County.

Summary

Injured passenger delays seeking medical treatment for lower back pain, later claims back injury with need for surgery.

The Case

  • Case Name: Hermosillo v. Robinson
  • Court and Case Number: Kern County Superior Court / BCV-17-100175
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Monday, December 07, 2020
  • Date Action was Filed: Thursday, January 26, 2017
  • Type of Action: MIST (Minor impact, soft tissue), Vehicles – rear-ender, Highlighted Verdicts
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Thomas S. Clark
  • Plaintiffs:
    Angelica Hermosillo
  • Defendants:
    Brent Robinson
    Kevin Wood
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: $750,000

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:

    Panish Shea & Boyle LLP by Robert Glassman and Nathan Werksman, Los Angeles.

  • Attorney for the Defendant:

    Macdonald & Cody by Michael Moon, Riverside.

The Experts

  • Plaintiff’s Medical Expert(s):

    Todd Gravori, M.D., neurosurgery, Los Angeles.

    Vikram Singh, M.D., pain management/anesthesiology, Los Angeles.

    Richard Rhee, M.D., radiology, Newport Beach.
  • Defendant's Medical Expert(s):
    Stephen Rothman, M.D., radiology, Beverly Hills.
    Eldan Eichbaum, M.D., neurosurgery, Fremont.
    Henry Lubow, billing, Los Angeles.
     
     
  • Plaintiff's Technical Expert(s):

    Kenneth Solomon, Ph.D., Biomechanic engineering and accident reconstruction, Woodland Hills.

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    On August 3, 2015, plaintiff, a 19-year-old female, was a passenger in a car driven by her sister when she was rear-ended in Bakersfield by a work van driven by defendant Brent Robinson and owned by defendant Kevin Wood.

    Plaintiff waited 17 days to go to the emergency room to complain of back pain and pain radiating down her leg. Plaintiff received medical treatment, including chiropractic care, an MRI which showed a 10-mm disc herniation, and a discectomy/laminectomy at the L5-S1 level.

     

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    That the rear-end collision was caused as a result of defendant's negligence. Further, that the rear-end collision caused plaintiff's disc herniation, which necessitated surgery and will result in plaintiff needing surgery in the future.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    Until the eve of trial, defendant driver claimed that plaintiff's sister cut him off, causing the collision.

    Defendants also argued that plaintiff's disc herniation was pre-existing and that plaintiff was exaggerating injuries and that medical treatment was all attorney-driven. Defendants repeatedly noted that at plaintiff's first visit with the chiropractor, she did not note radiating pain down her left leg. Additionally, defendants repeatedly noted that on the same day plaintiff first visited the chiropractor, she told her employer that ibuprofen "got rid of low back pain."

Injuries and Other Damages

  • Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:

    10-mm disc herniation caused low back pain and radiating pain down her left leg.

Additional Notes

Defendant offered $225,000 via 998 during litigation. Parties agreed to a high low of $250,000 to $1,000,000 during deliberations.

COVID-19 measures taken during trial. Jurors socially distanced, lawyers wore masks at all times when not talking, the witness stand was encased in plexiglass, there was a transparent screen set up between attorneys and jurors, and a plexiglass panel separating defense and plaintiffs' counsel.

Disclaimer

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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