Extent of soft-tissue injuries disputed after rear-ender. $113K. Ventura County.


Defendant driver makes U-turn in front of plaintiff; she rear-ends him.

The Case

  • Case Name: Sherry Cooksey v. Derrick Morris
  • Court and Case Number: Ventura County Superior Court/ 56-2018-00507313
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Friday, December 20, 2019
  • Date Action was Filed: Friday, January 26, 2018
  • Type of Case: Vehicles - Auto vs. Auto, Vehicles - U Turn
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): O'Neill
  • Plaintiffs:
    Sherry Cooksey
  • Defendants:
    Derrick Morris
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: $113,500
  • Economic Damages:


  • Non-Economic Damages:


  • Trial or Arbitration Time: 3 days.
  • Jury Deliberation Time: 3 hours.
  • Jury Polls: 12-0

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:

    Quirk Law Firm, LLP by Trevor Quirk, Ventura.

  • Attorney for the Defendant:

    Raffalow, Bretoi, Lutz & Stele by Kevin Barry, Newbury Park.

The Experts

  • Plaintiff’s Medical Expert(s):

    Alan Moelleken, M.D., orthopedic surgery, Santa Barbara.

    Joseph Combs, D.C., chiropractic, Oxnard.

  • Defendant's Medical Expert(s):

    Jeffrey Korchek, M.D., orthopedic surgery, North Hollywood.

    Lawrence Harter, M.D., radiology, Santa Barbara.

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    On November 10, 2016, plaintiff was driving her 2002 Nissan Maxima on SR-34 in Ventura when defendant made an illegal U-turn in front of her. Plaintiff attempted to avoid the collision but rear-ended defendant's vehicle.


  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    Plaintiff contended she was injured from the incident and her medical bills were reasonable and necessary. 

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    Defendant admitted liability, but argued all treatment, except Kaiser and 4-6 weeks of chiropractic care was unreasonable an unnecessary. 

Injuries and Other Damages

  • Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:

    Plaintiff sustained soft tissue injuries. Plaintiff went to Kaiser three days after the incident, and a chiropractor 11 days later. She treated with the chiropractor for two years in 90+ visits. Her chiropractic bill was $11,000, all on a lien. Plaintiff also sought treatment from Dr. Moelleken at the Spine & Orthopedic Center where she eventually received an injection, all on a lien.

Demands and Offers

  • Plaintiff §998 Demand: $35,000
  • Defendant Final Offer before Trial: $10,000

Additional Notes

Insurer: Mercury