Eggshell plaintiff experiences aggravation of prior neck injury after rear-ender. $38K. San Diego County.


State Farm only agrees to stipulate to liability as trial begins, argues low-impact minor injury.

The Case

  • Case Name: Blanding v. San Filippo
  • Court and Case Number: San Diego Superior Court / 2021-5328
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Monday, June 20, 2022
  • Date Action was Filed: Thursday, February 04, 2021
  • Type of Case: Vehicles - Auto vs. Auto, Vehicles – rear-ender
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. James Mangione
  • Plaintiffs:
    Elise Blanding, 56, property manager
  • Defendants:
    Mia San Filippo
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: $38,000
  • Net Verdict or Award: $38,000
  • Award as to each Defendant:

    $38,000 against defendant Mia San Filippo.

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

    Past medical expenses: $21,000

    Past lost wages: $2,000

  • Non-Economic Damages:

    Past: $15,000

  • Trial or Arbitration Time: 5 days
  • Jury Deliberation Time: 2 1/2 hours
  • Jury Polls: 12-0 on all questions.
  • Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: Plaintiff will be filing post -trial motion for cost of proof sanctions and attorneys fees pursuant to CCP 2033.420.

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:

    Rejali Law Firm, APC by Omid Rejali, San Diego.

    Law Offices of Yasmine Djawadian, APC by Yasmine Djawadian, San Diego.

  • Attorney for the Defendant:

    Bonnie Moss and Associates by Blaise Jackson, San Diego.

The Experts

  • Plaintiff’s Medical Expert(s):

    Kristopher Downing, M.D. (Treating orthopedic hand specialist.)

    Joe Szafranski, DC. (Treating chiropractor.)

  • Defendant's Medical Expert(s):

    Robert Gelb, M.D., orthopedics.

  • Plaintiff's Technical Expert(s):

    Joe Awad, BSME, biomechanics.

  • Defendant's Technical Expert(s):

    Brian Jones, biomechanics.

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    Plaintiff was rear-ended on Mission Boulevard in San Diego by defendant, who was traveling between 20 and 30 miles an hour.

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    That as a result of the collision, plaintiff's prior neck issues were aggravated and she sustained an aggravation to her wrist and thumb, which required an arthroscopic surgery of the hand.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    That plaintiff was not credible. That plaintiff at best suffered a sprain and strain that should have resolved within three months. That defendant did not cause plaintiff's wrist problems and that they were degenerative.

Injuries and Other Damages

  • Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:

    Aggravation of prior neck injury. Unusual susceptibility to wrist injury because of degeneration. That despite the degeneration, plaintiff had been without symptoms and became symptomatic subsequent to the collision (eggshell plaintiff).

Special Damages

  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Medical: Approx: $96,000
  • Special Damages Claimed - Future Medical: $3500
  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Lost Earnings: $2599
  • Special Damages Claimed - Future Lost Earnings: None.

Demands and Offers

  • Plaintiff §998 Demand: $100,000
  • Defendant §998 Offer: $35,000

Additional Notes

Insurance carrier was State Farm. Defense denied liability until day of trial. Plaintiff chose not to stipulate to defense's request to accept liability.