Plaintiff receives low award after causation and extent of injuries are contested. $58K. Orange County.
Plaintiff, a young adult, claims high medical damages, both past and future in admitted-liability rear-ender.
- Case Name: Julian Eduardo Romo v. Gloria Lee
- Court and Case Number: Orange County Superior Court / 30-2017-00952949-CU-PA-CJC
- Date of Verdict or Judgment: Tuesday, August 24, 2021
- Date Action was Filed: Wednesday, November 01, 2017
- Type of Action: Vehicles – rear-ender
- Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Theodore Howard
- Plaintiffs: Julian Eduardo Romo, 24
- Defendants: Gloria Lee
- Type of Result: Jury Verdict
- Gross Verdict or Award: $58,307
- Award as to each Defendant:
- Economic Damages:
Past medical specials: $8,307
Future medical specials: $0
- Non-Economic Damages:
- Trial or Arbitration Time: 8 days
- Jury Deliberation Time: 4 hours and 45 minutes
- Jury Polls: 10-2
- Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: Pending.
- Attorney for the Plaintiff:
Wilshire Law Firm by Hazel Chang and Ryan Medler, Los Angeles
- Attorney for the Defendant:
Morgenstern Law Group by Ninos Saroukhanioff and Bianca Falcon, Woodland Hills.
- Plaintiff’s Medical Expert(s):
Fardad Mobin, M.D., neurosurgery, Beverly Hills.
- Defendant's Medical Expert(s):
Daniel Kaplan, M.D., orthopedic surgery, La Habra.
David Karlin, M.D., radiology.
- Plaintiff's Technical Expert(s):
Jan Roughan, life care planning and billing.
- Defendant's Technical Expert(s):
Tami Rockholt, billing.
Facts and Background
- Facts and Background:
On December 7, 2015 at approximately 2:35 p.m. defendant was driving a 2008 Lexus RX 400 northbound on Kraemer Blvd. when she suddenly and unexpectedly lost control of her vehicle, causing it to crash into several cars ahead of hers.
At the same time, plaintiff was driving his Nissan pickup truck northbound on North Kraemer Blvd. approaching East Crowther Ave. when his vehicle was rear-ended by the Lee vehicle.
The entire incident was caught on Ms. Lee’s dash cam. Plaintiff was 19 years old at the time of this incident and is currently 24 years old.
Ms. Lee admitted negligence for this accident and did not claim any comparative fault on the part of plaintiff. Therefore, the trial was solely to resolve the issues of causation, nature and extent of claimed injuries and damages.
- Plaintiff's Contentions:
Plaintiff claimed injuries to his cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine. The primary claimed injury was to the thoracic spine region. Plaintiff underwent significant treatment leading up to and including the recent implant of a permanent spinal cord stimulator.
Plaintiff incurred a total of $493,421.91 (gross) medical special damages and claimed $350,481.32 as the reasonable value (net – per plaintiff’s billing expert). Plaintiff’s experts opined that the plaintiff would require future care in the form of device replacements, follow-up doctor visits and medications at a cost of approximately $717,578.
- Defendant's Contentions:
Defendant contended that the plaintiff sustained nothing more than a whiplash injury which resolved within no more than four months post-accident and that all treatment subsequent to that time was unrelated to the subject accident.
Defendant further contended that the reasonable and necessary medical treatment costs were less than $5,000 and that the fair and reasonable compensation for non-economic damages was $25,000 or less.
Injuries and Other Damages
- Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Spinal injuries requiring the placement of a permanent spinal cord stimulator.
Past non-economic damages in the amount of $1,007,400 and future non-economic damages in the amount of $9,636,000.
- Special Damages Claimed - Past Medical: $350,481.32
- Special Damages Claimed - Future Medical: $717,578.00
- Special Damages Claimed - Past Lost Earnings: $0.00
- Special Damages Claimed - Future Lost Earnings: $0.00
Demands and Offers
- Defendant §998 Offer: $100,000 in October of 2019, which was rejected.