Extent of injuries disputed after rear-ender at traffic light. $197K. Los Angeles County.


$100K policy is opened up when defendant argues extent of injury after rear-ender.

The Case

  • Case Name: Lucas D. Kurzon v. Terilyn Rawson; Beau Thetford
  • Court and Case Number: Los Angeles Superior Court / BC659593
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Thursday, October 24, 2019
  • Date Action was Filed: Friday, April 28, 2017
  • Type of Case: Vehicles - Auto vs. Auto, Vehicles – rear-ender
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. William MacLaughlin
  • Plaintiffs:
    Lucas D. Kurzon
  • Defendants:
    Terilyn Rawson
    Beau Thetford
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: $197,394.79
  • Net Verdict or Award: $274,812.85
  • Award as to each Defendant:

    $15,000 as to Terilyn Rawson

    $197,394.79 as to Beau Thetford

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

    Past medical expenses: $32,071.61

    Prejudgment interest: $323.18

    Future Medical expenses: $95,000

  • Non-Economic Damages:

    Past pain & suffering: $50,000

    Future pain & suffering: $20,000

  • Trial or Arbitration Time: 7 days.
  • Jury Deliberation Time: 1 day.
  • Jury Polls: 10-2
  • Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: None.

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:

    Kuzyk Law, LLP by Mark J. Leonardo, Lancaster.

  • Attorney for the Defendant:

    Paul F. Sullivan & Associates by Brian P. Neill, Sherman Oaks.

The Experts

  • Plaintiff’s Medical Expert(s):

    Catalino D. Dureza, M.D., neurosurgery, Los Angeles.

    Andrew S. Morris, D.C., medical billing, Torrance.

    Ray H. Hashemi, M.D., radiology, Lancaster.

  • Defendant's Medical Expert(s):

    Robert M. Wilson, M.D., orthopedic surgery, Beverly Hills.

    Jay S. Tsuruda, M.D., radiology, Pasadena.

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    On June 16, 2015, a sunny, clear, dry and warm day, at approximately 5 p.m., plaintiff, age 24 at the time, was operating a company car owned by his employer, Hertz Rent-a-Car, a 2014 Ford Focus, and was returning back to his office in Thousand Oaks from LAX.

    Plaintiff was stopped in the #1 lane on Pacific Coast Highway at the light at Sunset Boulevard when he was rear-ended by defendant Thetford, who was driving the Jeep owned by his mother, defendant Rawson.

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    That defendant driver was negligent in the operation of his vehicle, resulting in personal injuries to plaintiff.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    Defendant admitted liability but disputed the causation, nature and extent of plaintiff's injuries.

    While defendants' expert admitted that plaintiff suffered soft-tissue injuries, counsel argued that plaintiff suffered no injuries in closing argument and that all claimed injuries were a result of age (age 24) degeneration.

Injuries and Other Damages

  • Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:

    Plaintiff claimed he suffered neck pain with radiculopathy down his arms, low back pain with radiculopathy down both legs, sciatica down his legs, hot feet, numbness and tingling, and incontinence for a period of time.

Special Damages

  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Medical: $42,922.61
  • Special Damages Claimed - Future Medical: $95,000
  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Lost Earnings: None claimed.
  • Special Damages Claimed - Future Lost Earnings: None claimed.

Demands and Offers

  • Plaintiff §998 Demand: Policy limits of $100,000
  • Defendant §998 Offer: $25,001

Additional Notes

With interest, costs and expert fees added to the judgment Defendants paid $274,812.85 to satisfy the judgment.