Tractor-trailer rear-ends auto. 3 plaintiffs experience various long-term pain issues. $45M. Los Angeles County.

Summary

Rear-end accident on the 10 Freeway in LA causes only moderate damage to large SUV when it's hit by truck. Defendant says injuries were built up.

The Case

  • Case Name: Souresrafil et al. v. Alonso et al.
  • Court and Case Number: Los Angeles Superior Court / 18STCV06853
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Thursday, June 16, 2022
  • Date Action was Filed: Thursday, November 29, 2018
  • Type of Action: Vehicles - Auto vs. Auto, Vehicles - Tractor Trailers, Vehicles – rear-ender
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Michele Flurer
  • Plaintiffs:
    Abbas Kamran Souresrafil
    Mortezah Ahmadinejad
    Fernando Flores
  • Defendants:
    Dennis Alonso
    United Specialty Insurance Company in intervention
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: $45,162,891.30
  • Net Verdict or Award: $45,162,891.30
  • Award as to each Defendant:

    All against defendant Alonso.

  • Contributory/Comparative Negligence: None.
  • Economic Damages:

    Mr, Souresrafil: Past medical expenses of  $919,942.27 and $4,000,000 in future medical expenses

    Mr. Ahmadinejad: Past medical expenses of $128,209.89 and $700,000 in future medical expenses

    Mr. Flores: Past medical expenses of $93,898.14 and $0 in future medical expenses

  • Non-Economic Damages:

    Mr, Souresrafil: Past : $9,366,000; Future: $21,000,000   

    Mr. Ahmadinejad: Past: $1,123,920; Future: $6,280,920 

    Mr. Flores: Past: $300,000; Future: $1,250,000 

  • Trial or Arbitration Time: 11 court days
  • Jury Deliberation Time: 2 hours
  • Jury Polls: 11-1 on all questions

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:

    Wilshire Law Firm by Jon Teller, Los Angeles. (For Mr. Souresrafil.)

    Abron Law, P.C. by Byron (B.J.) Abron, Beverly Hills. (For Mr. Ahmadinejad and Mr. Flores.)

  • Attorney for the Defendant:

    Jacobs & Dodds by Paul Jacobs, Irvine. (For Mr. Alonso.)

    James Gibbons for United Specialty Insurance Company in intervention.

The Experts

  • Plaintiff’s Medical Expert(s):

    Fardad Mobin, M.D., neurosurgery. (For Mr. Souresrafil.)

    Jan Roughan, life care planning. (For Mr. Souresrafil.)

    Vrijesh Tantuwaya, M.D. (For Mr. Ahmadinejad and Mr. Flores.)

  • Defendant's Medical Expert(s):

    William Dillin, M.D., orthopedic surgery.

    Ronald Kvitne, M.D., orthopedic surgery.

    Agnes Grogan, medical billing.

    Edward Benett, vocational rehabilitation.

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    On March 8, 2018 plaintiffs were in a Chevy Suburban on the 10 freeway in Los Angeles when their vehicle was rear-ended by defendant's tractor-trailer, causing minor/moderate damage.

    The three plaintiffs declined an ambulance to the hospital. Mr. Souresrafil's wife picked him up and took him to Kaiser. He reported neck and back pain, got an X-ray and went home. Four days later he started seeing a chiropractor. He then got two lumbar spine injections, then underwent a one-level lumbar fusion surgery at L4-5. He then underwent a spinal cord stimulator implant, and then a right shoulder arthroscopy.

    Mr. Ahmadenjad and Mr. Flores drove home to Bakersfield from the scene of the collision. They then each went to urgent care. Both underwent chiro and pain management including spinal injections. Mr. Flores had a lumbar surgery recommendation but decided not to undergo surgery. Mr. Ahmadenijad suffered a minor TBI but did not go to many doctor visits for it.

     

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    That all the injuries and treatment were a result of the collision. Plaintiffs would need future medical treatment for the rest of their lives, and their lives will never be the same.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    That Mr. Souresrafil did not need a fusion surgery. He should have just had a discectomy surgery and would be fine. He did not need a spinal cord stimulator. All the medical bills are inflated and not reasonable and the future medical treatment is inflated and should be significantly less.

    That Mr. Ahmadinejad and Mr. Flores did not get surgery for four years, so they are not going to get surgery in the future. Their past medical expenses are inflated and not reasonable. They don't really have any future medical treatment expenses. Overall, they are fine.

Injuries and Other Damages

  • Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:

    Mr. Souresrafil: Ongoing shoulder and back pain.

    Mr. Ahmadinejad: Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI) and lumbar and cervical spine pain.

    Mr. Flores: Ongoing lumbar pain with recommendation for lumbar discectomy at L4-L5 and L5-S1.

Special Damages

  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Lost Earnings:

Demands and Offers

  • Plaintiff §998 Demand: Each plaintiff had a 998 for $999,999 individually in May 2019.
  • Plaintiff Final Demand before Trial: $4,000,000
  • Plaintiff Demand during Trial: $10,000,000 before closing arguments.
  • Defendant Final Offer before Trial: Initially $250,000. Policy limits of approximately $925,000 shortly before trial.

Additional Notes

All three plaintiffs treated with the same pain management doctor and same neurosurgeon, which defense counsel brought up at trial, to suggest that was a problem.

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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