Allstate disputes causation, need for surgery in UIM case. $151K arb award.
Airbag deploys in left-turn crash and plaintiff is briefly unconscious. Has pain injections and claims she will need neck surgery. Defense doc says pain is from degenerative conditions of her neck.
- Case Name: Ramirez v. Allstate
- Court and Case Number: ADR Services Inc. / 20-2372-JAC
- Date of Verdict or Judgment: Wednesday, August 26, 2020
- Date of Arbitration Award : Wednesday, August 26, 2020
- Date Action was Filed: Thursday, July 19, 2018
- Type of Action: Underinsured Motorist
- Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Jacqueline A. Connor (Ret.)
Plaintiffs: Dolores Ramirez, 62, nurse
Defendants: Allstate Northbrook Indemnity Company
- Type of Result: Arbitration Award
- Gross Verdict or Award: $151,008.45
- Net Verdict or Award: $134,008.45
Award as to each Defendant:
$134,008.45 to claimant Dolores Ramirez
- Contributory/Comparative Negligence: None.
Past medical: $44,633.45
Loss of income: $6,375
- Trial or Arbitration Time: 3 hours.
Attorney for the Plaintiff:
Law Offices of Kamyar R. Shayan by Kamyar R. Shayan, Los Angeles.
Attorney for the Defendant:
Law Offices of Gregory J. Lucett by Gillian Mellon, Glendale.
Plaintiff’s Medical Expert(s):
Michael M. Moheimani, M.D., orthopedic surgery/pain management. (Treating physician.)
Richard C. Rosemberg, M.D., orthopedic surgery.
Facts and Background
Facts and Background:
Claimant was covered by an Under-insured Motorist Policy with defendant Allstate when on June 12, 2017 her vehicle collided with an under-insured vehicle making a left turn in violation of VC 21801(a).
Claimant's airbags deployed as she struck the steering wheel and lost consciousness for a few minutes. She declined the ambulance offered by the paramedics as it would not take her to her HMO's hospital. She was later taken by her family to Huntington Memorial Hospital. She was diagnosed with blunt injury to her chest and was advised to follow up with her personal physician, which she did two days later.
She was unable to return to work for one month. She began chiropractic therapy and also received two CIESI, epidural, for pain from Dr. Michael Moheimani, an orthopedic surgeon. As her pain persists, Dr. Mohimani opined that claimant will require cervical discectomy and fusion of C4-C5.
Claimant had no preexisting condition in her neck or back other than the degenerative changes of the discs, Spondylosis, which is a normal finding in a woman in her early 60s.
Past medical records are absent of any chronic neck or back pain. That the pain and suffering experienced by the claimant, the impact on her life, has been significant and has changed the trajectory of her planned retirement.
Defense expert, Dr. Richard Rosemberg, opined that the injections were warranted not from the accident but from degenerative conditions of her neck. Also, that the accident did not cause claimant's cervical instability, that attending more than 25 chiropractic sessions was excessive, and that no future medical care is indicated.
Injuries and Other Damages
Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Cervical instability at C4-C5.
- Special Damages Claimed - Past Medical: $44,633.45
- Special Damages Claimed - Future Medical: None.
- Special Damages Claimed - Past Lost Earnings: $6,375
Demands and Offers
- Plaintiff Final Demand before Trial: $72,500 (reduced)
- Defendant Final Offer before Trial: $15,220
The gross award of $151,008.45 was reduced by $15,000 tendered by the under-insured driver as well as $2,000 in medical payment by Allstate.