Left-turn at intersection crash. $138K. Santa Barbara County.

Summary

Extent of head, neck and back injuries and treatment disputed in admitted liability intersectional accident. 

The Case

  • Case Name: Kaufman v. Bryant
  • Court and Case Number: Santa Barbara County Superior Court / 19CV03676
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Thursday, January 06, 2022
  • Date Action was Filed: Saturday, October 21, 2017
  • Type of Action: Vehicles - Auto vs. Auto, Vehicles - Left Turn
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Thomas P. Anderle
  • Plaintiffs:
    Justin Kaufman
  • Defendants:
    Virginia Bryant
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: $138,459
  • Contributory/Comparative Negligence: None.
  • Economic Damages:

    Past medical: $113,459

  • Non-Economic Damages:

    Past: $25,000

    Future: 0

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:

    Adamson Ahdoot LLP by Armineh Yousefian and Austin G. Ward, Los Angeles.

  • Attorney for the Defendant:

    Mark Weiner & Associates by Colette Maria Asel, Glendale.

The Experts

  • Plaintiff’s Medical Expert(s):

    Matthew Pifer, M.D., orthopedic surgery, Goleta.

    Eric Millstien, M.D., orthopedic surgery, Los Angeles.

  • Plaintiff's Technical Expert(s):

    Vijay Gupta, Ph.D., biomechanics and accident reconstruction.

  • Defendant's Technical Expert(s):

    Mohammad Atarod, Ph.D., biomechanics and accident reconstruction.

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    On September 8, 2017, at approximately 8:32 a.m., plaintiff was traveling westbound on Calle Real at the intersection of Valdez Avenue in Goleta. At that time, the defendant was stopped on Valdez Avenue at the intersection. As plaintiff entered the intersection, the defendant, in an attempt to make a left turn, failed to yield right of way and came in the path of plaintiff's vehicle, colliding into the passenger’s side of plaintiff's vehicle. The police report from the officer on scene found the defendant at fault for the collision in violation of California Vehicle Code Section VC 21802(a) .

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    That defendant was the at-fault driver and that all of plaintiff's medical care was reasonable as was the cost thereof.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    Defendant admitted liability and that her negligence was a substantial factor in causing the accident and injury, but disputed the reasonableness of the medical care and the reasonableness of the cost of the care.

Injuries and Other Damages

  • Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:

    On September 10, 2017, plaintiff went to the urgent care at The MedCenter, Inc. for evaluation and treatment of the injuries he sustained due to the motor vehicle collision that occurred on September 8, 2017. He complained of pain in his neck, right arm, and low back. Following the complete physical examination, Dr. William Meller diagnosed Mr. Kaufman with cervical paraspinal muscle strain and thoracic paraspinal muscle spasm.

    On September 11, 2017, plaintiff saw Kristin Stewart, P.A. at Family Practice Medical Group for complaints of headaches; pain in his neck, right shoulder, and back. Physical examination demonstrated painful and decreased range of motion in his neck; and tenderness to palpation in his left shoulder and left-sided thoracic spine. Ms. Stewart diagnosed plaintiff with the following: 1. Headache 2. Neck pain 3. Back pain 4. Post-traumatic stress disorder, acute, due to recent car crash. Stewart instructed plaintiff to go to the emergency room and to undergo a CT scan of his brain to rule out bleeding. Stewart recommended that he follow-up with therapy to discuss post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms. Stewart advised him to return on an as needed basis for continued care.

    On September 11, 2017, plaintiff went to the emergency department at Cottage Health for further evaluation and treatment of the injuries he sustained due to the aforementioned motor vehicle collision. He complained of a persistent headache; and constant and worsening pain in his neck, right shoulder, and back. He rated his headache severity as 3-8/10. His symptoms aggravated by staying in one position for too long. Physical examination demonstrated paravertebral muscle discomfort in his neck and upper back. Dr. Goldberg ordered and performed a CT of plaintiff's brain. Dr. Goldberg diagnosed plaintiff with a concussion, without loss of consciousness.

    On September 15, 2017, plaintiff saw the chiropractor at Johnson and Yong Chiropractic for chiropractic evaluation and treatment of the injuries he sustained due to the aforementioned motor vehicle collision. He complained of continued headaches; pain in his neck, right shoulder, right arm, mid back, and low back. Physical examination demonstrated decreased and painful range of motion in his cervical spine. The chiropractor diagnosed plaintiff with the following: 1. Headache 2. Cervicocranial syndrome 3. Cervicobrachial syndrome 4. Cervical sprain 5. Radiculopathy, thoracic 6. Pain in thoracic spine 7. Thoracic sprain 8. Radiculopathy, lumbar region 9. Low back pain 10. Lumbar spine strain.

Demands and Offers

  • Defendant §998 Offer: $40,000

Additional Notes

Post-trial award for costs: $37,861.57

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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