After rear-ender, defendants dispute injuries and reasonableness of treatment. $551K. Orange County.

Summary

Car is a total loss, but plaintiff walks away from crash. Defendant denies causation and says treatment was excessive.

The Case

  • Case Name: Amar Patel v. Rudolfo Loera; EBK Woodworking
  • Court and Case Number: Orange County Superior Court / 30-2020-01167590
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Thursday, August 11, 2022
  • Date Action was Filed: Thursday, October 29, 2020
  • Type of Action: Vehicles – rear-ender
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. David A. Hoffer
  • Plaintiffs:
    Amar Patel
  • Defendants:
    Rudolfo Loera; EBW Woodworking
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: $551,771.26 plus $100,000 in costs, interest, and expert fees
  • Contributory/Comparative Negligence: None.
  • Economic Damages:

    Past medical expenses: $111,771.26

    Future medical expenses: $60,000

    Future lost earnings: $126,000

  • Non-Economic Damages:

    Past: $50,000

    Future: $204,000

  • Trial or Arbitration Time: 7 jury trial days
  • Jury Deliberation Time: 1 hour
  • Jury Polls: Unanimous
  • Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: Plaintiff will seek over $100,000 in costs, interest, and expert fees.

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:

    Aitken Aitken & Cohn by Atticus N. Wegman, Santa Ana.

  • Attorney for the Defendant:

    James T. Shott & Associates by Scott Meininger, Costa Mesa.

The Experts

  • Plaintiff’s Medical Expert(s):

    Khyber Zaffarkhan, DO, pain management. (Treating physician.)

    James Coleman, M.D., orthopedic hand surgery. (Treating physician.)

  • Defendant's Medical Expert(s):

    Nicholas Rose, M.D., orthopedic hand surgery. 

    Kristi Diehl PA-C, past carpal tunnel diagnosis for plaintiff.

  • Plaintiff's Technical Expert(s):

    Brad Rutledge, PE, accident reconstruction and biomechanics.

  • Defendant's Technical Expert(s):

    None.

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    Plaintiff, male age 44,  was injured in a rear-end collision on his way to work. No ambulance or fire department came to the scene and plaintiff walked to work. Plaintiff's vehicle was a total loss and defendant's vehicle was repaired. Defendant admitted liability for the crash and course and scope of employment.

    After the crash, plaintiff treated conservatively for over a year with home exercises and physical therapy until he required the care of pain management specialist, Dr. Khyber Zaffarkahn. Dr. Zaffarkhan performed two cervical facet injections. Plaintiff saw a wrist specialist five months after the crash and complained of numbness and pain, which eventually resulted in a carpal tunnel release surgery with Dr. James Coleman 1.5 years post crash. 

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    Defendant's negligent failure to slow his vehicle, thereby causing a rear-end collision, caused plaintiff to suffer neck, back, and left wrist injuries. Plaintiff underwent physical therapy and two cervical facet injections 1.5 years post crash. Plaintiff also underwent a carpal tunnel release surgery one year post crash. Plaintiff worked two jobs and contended his second job working at his family's Juice It Up business became difficult after the crash to the point where he had to hire an outside company to perform the maintenance he used to be able to perform.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    That plaintiff continued to work from the day of the crash until present. That plaintiff's post-crash complaints were pre-existing and that 99% of the time trauma does not cause or aggravate carpal tunnel.

    Further, that plaintiff's medical expenses are not reasonable and necessary and that plaintiff's neck and back injuries should have resolved in two to three months.

Injuries and Other Damages

  • Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:

    Neck, back, and left wrist injuries.

    Plaintiff underwent physical therapy and two cervical facet injections 1.5 years post crash. Plaintiff also underwent a carpal tunnel release surgery one year post crash. 

  • Plaintiff worked two jobs and contended his second job working at his family's Juice It Up business became difficult after the crash to the point where he had to hire an outside company to perform the maintenance he used to be able to perform. Plaintiff, 44 years old, claimed he would have to pay $6,000 per year for hiring outside maintenance until he retired at age 65.

Special Damages

  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Medical: $111,771.26
  • Special Damages Claimed - Future Medical: $93,000
  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Lost Earnings: N/A
  • Special Damages Claimed - Future Lost Earnings: $126,000

Demands and Offers

  • Plaintiff §998 Demand: $300,000
  • Defendant §998 Offer: $100,000

Additional Notes

Parties stipulated to eight jurors with three alternates. Two jurors were lost due to COVID.

 

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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