Extent of injuries disputed after left-turn collision. $2.8M. Los Angeles County.


Restaurant owner claims cervical and lumbar injuries requiring surgery in collision that she drove away from.

The Case

  • Case Name: Mingkwan Chotikulthanachai v. Maxine Coglianese
  • Court and Case Number: Los Angeles Superior Court / 20STCV28938
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Friday, April 07, 2023
  • Date Action was Filed: Friday, July 31, 2020
  • Type of Case: Vehicles - Left Turn
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Michael B. Harwin
  • Plaintiffs:
    Mingkwan Chotikulthanachai, restaurant owner, in her 30s
  • Defendants:
    Maxine Coglianese
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: $2,833,884
  • Economic Damages:

    Past medical expenses:  $363,072

    Future medical expenses: $230,812

  • Non-Economic Damages:

    Past: $240,000

    Future: $2,000,000

  • Trial or Arbitration Time: 9 days
  • Jury Deliberation Time: 5 hours
  • Jury Polls: 11-1 on all questions

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:

    Abron Law, P.C. by Byron (B.J.) Abron, Beverly Hills.

  • Attorney for the Defendant:

    Ford, Walker, Haggerty & Behar, LLP by Juan C. Delgado, Santa Ana.

    Ford, Walker, Haggerty & Behar, LLP by Kim Mueller, Long Beach.

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    On March 29, 2019 plaintiff restaurant owner was traveling west on Ventura Blvd. in Tarzana, when the defendant, while traveling in the opposite direction attempted to make a left-hand turn, causing the vehicles to collide head on. There was minor/moderate damage to the vehicles.

    Plaintiff exchanged information with defendant and then proceeded to drive to her restaurant. After spending 30 minutes at her restaurant, she drove to the LAX airport to drop a passenger off. She ultimately went home and took pain medications.

    Plaintiff began treatment eight days after the subject collision. Plaintiff suffered injuries to her lumbar spine and cervical spine. Plaintiff underwent chiropractic, pain management, and saw multiple orthopedic spine surgeons. After continued pain, plaintiff ultimately underwent a cervical fusion and lumbar discectomy.


  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    That all the injuries and treatment were a result of the subject collision. That plaintiff will need future medical treatment for the rest of her life, and her life will never be the same.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    That plaintiff did not require surgery in her cervical spine and that plaintiff did not have any injections prior to having surgery. That plaintiff also did not require surgery to her lumbar spine because there was no compression of nerve roots. Also, that plaintiff suffered from degeneration prior to the subject collision that resulted from collisions in 2008 and 2014. Because surgeries were unnecessary and unrelated to the subject collision, plaintiff requires no future care.

Injuries and Other Damages

  • Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:

    Cervical spine (neck): plaintiff had multiple level small disc protrusions with a larger protrusion at C5-6 measuring at 4-5mm. Lumbar spine: she had multiple level small disc protrusions with the largest at L3-4 measuring 3-4mm.

Special Damages

  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Medical: $571,000

Demands and Offers

  • Defendant Final Offer before Trial: $350,000