Left-turn accident in parking lot. $835K. Ventura County.
Four-year gap in treatment follows parking lot accident.
- Case Name: Kristy Fishman v. Barbara Rice
- Court and Case Number: Ventura County Superior Court / 56-2016-00483594-CU-PA-VTA
- Date of Verdict or Judgment: Wednesday, February 12, 2020
- Date Action was Filed: Thursday, March 03, 2016
- Type of Action: Vehicles - Left Turn
- Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Vincent J. O’Neill
- Plaintiffs: Kristy Fishman, 47.
- Defendants: Barbara Rice
- Type of Result: Jury Verdict
- Gross Verdict or Award: $835,000 plus statutory costs
- Trial or Arbitration Time: 9 trial days.
- Jury Deliberation Time: 4 hours.
- Jury Polls: 12-0 past/future economics; 11-0 past/future non-economics.
- Attorney for the Plaintiff:
Bryman & Apelian by Mark D. Apellian, Calabasas.
- Attorney for the Defendant:
Mark Weiner & Associates by Lyn Woodward, Glendale.
- Plaintiff’s Medical Expert(s):
Fardad Mobin, neurosurgery, Beverly Hills.
- Defendant's Medical Expert(s):
Steven Nagelberg, orthopedic surgery, Downey.
Lawrence Harter, radiology, Santa Barbara.
- Plaintiff's Technical Expert(s):
Felix Lee, accident reconstruction.
Rami Hashish, biomechanics.
- Defendant's Technical Expert(s):
Thomas Fugger, accident reconstruction/biomechanics.
Facts and Background
- Facts and Background:
On July 1, 2014, plaintiff was in the process of making a left-hand turn In the parking lot of the Oaks Mall in Thousand Oaks when defendant failed to stop at her limit line located within a 3-way stop "T"- intersection, causing her vehicle to strike the front driver's side tire on plaintiff's vehicle. Soon after the accident plaintiff began chiropractic treatment for approximately eight weeks, followed by an evaluation by an orthopedic doctor in September 2014 for complaints of pain, primarily in her cervical spine.
Although plaintiff's orthopedic doctor suggested she may wish to consider pain management, she declined, and received no other care or treatment until four years had passed, when she received three epidural steroid injections through pain management and ultimately a single-level fusion at C-6.
- Plaintiff's Contentions:
That though plaintiff stopped receiving chiropractic treatment within three months of the accident and received no additional treatment until nearly four years had passed, her participation in pain management and a need for surgery (October 2018), were caused by the July 1, 2014 accident.
- Defendant's Contentions:
That the initial chiropractic care was reasonable as was the initial orthopedic evaluation. That all treatment thereafter was not related, given such a long lapse of time (nearly four years) and that she had no early signs of radiculopathy down her extremity.
Defense also raised earlier records which identified similar neck- and arm-related complaints as well as having hinted that her complaints years later may have been the result of a fall plaintiff had in the year 2016.
Injuries and Other Damages
- Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Cervical injury to plaintiff's C-6 as well as some wrist and elbow pain-related complaints.
- Special Damages Claimed - Past Medical: $80,000
- Special Damages Claimed - Future Medical: $ 80,000 future care including adjacent segment disease-related surgery in 20 years.
- Special Damages Claimed - Past Lost Earnings: N/A
- Special Damages Claimed - Future Lost Earnings: N/A
Demands and Offers
- Plaintiff §998 Demand: $1,250,000
- Defendant §998 Offer: $40,000