Rear-ender, MIST, lower-back sprains. $32K. Los Angeles County.


Slowing down for speed bump results in rear-ender.

The Case

  • Case Name: Brandstetter v. Williams
  • Court and Case Number: Los Angeles County Superior Court / BC654163
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Thursday, April 11, 2019
  • Date Action was Filed: Thursday, March 16, 2017
  • Type of Case: MIST (Minor impact, soft tissue)
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Charles Palmer
  • Plaintiffs:
    Michelle Brandstetter
  • Defendants:
    Bryan Williams
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: $32,000
  • Economic Damages:

    Past medical: $7,000 

    Future medical: $4,000 

  • Non-Economic Damages:

    Past: $21,000 

    Future: $0

  • Trial or Arbitration Time: 3 days.
  • Jury Deliberation Time: 4 hours.

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:

    Bisnar Chase by Tom G. Antunovich, Newport Beach.

  • Attorney for the Defendant:

    Doherty & Catlow by Brian Neill, Los Angeles.

The Experts

  • Plaintiff’s Medical Expert(s):

    Kendall Wagner, M.D., orthopedic surgery, Fullerton.

  • Defendant's Medical Expert(s):

    Barry Ludwig, M.D., neurology, Los Angeles.

    Hillel Sperling, M.D., spinal surgery, Tarzana.

  • Defendant's Technical Expert(s):

    Dan Trudell, accident reconstruction, Valencia.

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    On the evening of April 18, 2015, Michelle Brandstetter was driving home from dinner with her fiancé. As she approached a speed bump she slowed and was rear-ended by Bryan Williams. 

    The next day plaintiff went to Kaiser where she was diagnosed with a low back sprain. She continued with treatment for her lower back at Kaiser on and off for approximately three years. MRI of lower back was taken in Dec. 2017 and was normal. No EMG/NCV test was performed.

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    That as a result of the subject incident, plaintiff suffered a lumbosacral sprain/strain with probable L5 radiculopathy.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    That plaintiff's injuries should have resolved within six to seven weeks and there was no evidence of radiculopathy because the MRI was normal.  Defense expert Dan Trudell testified the impact was delta V, 5.3 - 6.7 mph.

Injuries and Other Damages

  • Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:

    Lumbosacral sprain/strain with radiculopathy.

Special Damages

  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Medical: $10,650
  • Special Damages Claimed - Future Medical: $15,000

Demands and Offers

  • Plaintiff §998 Demand: $15,000 in Nov. 2017.
  • Defendant Final Offer before Trial: $6,500