Freeway rear-ender leads to low offer but $169,289 verdict for neck injuries. Orange County.


Freeway rear-ender with admitted liability leads to dispute over neck injury. $30,000 offer (CCP 998) but $169,289 verdict plus interest.

The Case

  • Case Name: Sally Gordon v. Morteza Hosseini
  • Court and Case Number: Orange County Superior/ 30-2011-00505721
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Friday, November 16, 2012
  • Date Action was Filed: Tuesday, September 06, 2011
  • Type of Case: Vehicles - Auto vs. Auto
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Robert Moss
  • Plaintiffs:
    Sally Gordon, 60, bookkeeper
  • Defendants:
    Morteza Hosseini
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: $169,289
  • Economic Damages:

    Past: $53,289

    Future: $86,000

  • Non-Economic Damages:


  • Trial or Arbitration Time: 3 days
  • Jury Deliberation Time: 6 hours
  • Jury Polls: 6-0
  • Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: Defendant paid plaintiff an additional $18,816 in CCP 998 penalties.

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:
    Law Office of John P. Burns by John P. Burns, Newport Beach
  • Attorney for the Defendant:
    Maguire & Associates by Tobin Ando, Costa Mesa

The Experts

  • Plaintiff’s Medical Experts:
    Brent Smith, D.C., treating chiropractor, Irvine.
    Brian Irvine, D.C., chiropractor, Torrance.
    Standifored Helm, M.D., treating pain management specialist, Laguna Woods.
    Jeffrey Gross, M.D., treating neurosurgeon, Laguna Niguel.
  • Defendant's Medical Experts:
    Charles Rosen, M.D.,
  • Plaintiff's Technical Experts:
    John Gardiner, Ph.D.,
  • Defendant's Technical Experts:

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    Plaintiff's car was rear-ended on the 405 freeway in Irvine. Property damage to plaintiff's Honda Accord was in the amount of $1,800. Plaintiff sustained neck injuries.  Defendant admitted liability.

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    That plaintiff suffered a serious, life-long neck injury in the collision; that plaintiff was entitled to compensation for her past medical bills and past and future pain and suffering.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    Defendant contested severity of injury. Defense medical expert testified that plaintiff received no more than a strain/sprain which should have resolved after eight weeks of chiropractic treatment and that her hand and arm symptoms were from carpal tunnel syndrome.

Injuries and Other Damages

  • Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:

    Injury to cervical spine of neck, causing neck pain, left trapezius muscle pain, left arm pain and radiating numbness and tingling in plaintiff's left arm and hand.

    Post-accident MRI of plaintiff's neck showed 3.5 mm disc bulge. Nerve-block procedure showed nerve damage in plaintiff's neck at spinal level C5-C6.

  • Plaintiff's counsel had plaintiff's car re-inspected after repairs had been done and discovered that the internal rear bumper had not been replaced as was required. Defendant's carrier paid plaintiff an additional $369 for the additional property damage shortly before trial.

Special Damages

  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Medical: $53,289
  • Special Damages Claimed - Future Medical: $320,000 in life-long pain-management injections.

Demands and Offers

  • Plaintiff §998 Demand: $99,750
  • Defendant §998 Offer: $30,000