Plaintiff sought policy limit for neck and head injuries. After offer of $70,000, jury awards $160,000. San Diego County.


Plaintiff was rear-ended on the freeway. The impact caused neck and head injuries that continue to affect plaintiff.

The Case

  • Case Name: Matthew Jensen v. Jonathan Coburn
  • Court and Case Number: San Diego Superior Court - Vista/ 37-2011-0054633
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Thursday, December 06, 2012
  • Date Action was Filed: Tuesday, May 24, 2011
  • Type of Case: Vehicles - Auto vs. Auto
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Edward Mass, III
  • Plaintiffs:
    Matthew Jensen, 28, graphic designer
  • Defendants:
    Jonathan Coburn
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: $160,000 General Verdict
  • Trial or Arbitration Time: 4 days
  • Jury Deliberation Time: 2.5 hours
  • Jury Polls: 10-2. Per plaintff counsel, the other 2 jurors wanted to award $220,000 and $275,000.

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:
    BISNAR | CHASE by H. Gavin Long, Newport Beach
  • Attorney for the Defendant:
    Cassidy | Warner & Associates by Kent Warner, Redlands

The Experts

  • Plaintiff’s Medical Experts:
    Arlen Green, D.O., pain management, Santa Ana
    Martin Backman, M.D., neurology, Santa Ana
  • Defendant's Medical Experts:
    Stephen Rothman, M.D., radiology, Los Angeles
    Richard Greenfield, M.D., orthopedic surgery, San Diego

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    On June 20, 2009 plaintiff's disabled vehicle was parked on the emergency shoulder of I-5 southbound near San Onofre when it was rear-ended by the defendant.  Liability was not disputed.

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    That the crash caused plaintiff to sustain a 3-4mm cervical disc bulge and scalp laceration and concussion with residual headaches and neck complaints.


  • Defendant's Contentions:

    Defendant disputed the nature and extent of plaintiff's injuries and that plaintiff only treated with a chiropractor until the case came near trial when plaintiff saw a neurologist and treated for pain management. 

Injuries and Other Damages

  • Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:

    Neck symptoms due to a 3-4mm disc bulger at C6-7 and residual headaches from his concussion.  Plaintiff will require future treatment including epidural injections for ongoing neck pain and occipital blocks for headaches.

Special Damages

  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Medical: $47,000
  • Special Damages Claimed - Future Medical: $51,000

Demands and Offers

  • Plaintiff §998 Demand: $100,000 (insurance policy limit)
  • Defendant §998 Offer: $70,000

Additional Notes

Excess verdict against Allstate insurance as the policy was $100,000. BISNAR | CHASE took the case over from another law firm and had the case for 3 months before trial