"Eggshell" plaintiff needs increased pain meds, injections and future surgery after low-speed, rear-end impact.
Past Medical: $39,485
Future Medical: $190,000
Piering Law Firm by Rob Piering and John Beals, Sacramento.
Tiza Serrano Thompson & Associates by Gareth Umipeg, Sacramento.
Plaintiff, female age 56, was rear-ended while waiting at a stop light. Plaintiff complained of neck pain at the scene and was taken to the hospital and diagnosed with strain/sprain to neck.
Plaintiff saw her primary care doctor three days later and was referred to physical therapy. Physical therapist reported 80% resolution of neck complaints three months after the incident. After finishing physical therapy, Plaintiff again went to her primary care doctor and reported that physical therapy was not much help. Primary care doctor then referred plaintiff to pain management specialist Dr. Peggy Portwood. Dr. Portwood provided trigger point injections to plaintiff's neck with no benefit. She also referred plaintiff for epidural steroid of thoracic spine to address documented “pre-accident left rib pain”.
A few months later, Dr. Portwood referred plaintiff for neck medial branch block which plaintiff responded well to. Thereafter, plaintiff underwent four different radio frequency ablations to the neck which provided substantial pain reduction to the neck. Plaintiff was also seen by spine specialist Dr. Tyler Smith who testified plaintiff will need a two-level neck surgery in the next 5 years because of the accident.
Plaintiff had documented pre-existing conditions including the following: diagnosis of fibromyalgia, global pain syndrome, 45-year history of migraine headaches, 15-year history of non-migraine headaches, depression, chronic low back pain, chronic hip pain, chronic left rib pain, taking 3 Vicodin daily and 4 Tramadol daily since 2006 up through the date of the incident. Also taking Prozac and pain meds for migraines. Plaintiff additionally complained of neck pain 4 years before the incident, was referred to physical therapy with the records stating that headaches often included neck pain. Plaintiff also had urinary incontinence which defense argued kept her from running and working out. Plaintiff’s pre-accident activities included running, working out and gardening which she testified were impacted by the accident.
That low-speed rear-ender caused neck injury with ongoing pain which required extensive treatment and will require future surgery.
Per defense counsel, "no contention was made" and that this was a low speed rear-end impact.
Per plaintiff counsel, testimony at trial for defense was that reasonable treatment post incident would have been 3-4 weeks and that all symptoms would have resolved in two months post incident. That plaintiff embellished her conditions and complaints. Also that her pre-accident activities were already impaired by pre-accident pain syndrome, migraines, chronic low back and hip pain as well as episodic incontinence.
Neck injury, with facet and disc damage.