Rear-ender causes neck, back injuries and PTSD. $146K. Los Angeles County.


Two die in three-car collision, causing plaintiff's PTSD.

The Case

  • Case Name: Chika Lim v. Chin Sheying Wang, et al.
  • Court and Case Number: Los Angeles Superior Court / BC661638
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Friday, November 01, 2019
  • Date Action was Filed: Wednesday, May 17, 2017
  • Type of Case: Vehicles - Freeway, Vehicles – rear-ender
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Gary Tanaka
  • Plaintiffs:
    Chika Lim, 33, civil engineer.
  • Defendants:
    Chin Sheying Wang
    Estate of Gregory Smith
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: $146,460.50
  • Award as to each Defendant:

    $121,460.50 against defendant Chin Sheying Wang (including costs).

    $25,000 settlement with Estate of Gregory Smith pursuant to C.C.P. 998 on first day of trial.

  • Economic Damages:

    Future medical expenses: $31,250 

  • Non-Economic Damages:


  • Punitive Damages:


  • Trial or Arbitration Time: 5 days.
  • Jury Deliberation Time: 1 1/2 hours.
  • Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: Motion to tax costs. Appeal.

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:

    Bisnar Chase, LLP by Tom G. Antunovich, Newport Beach.

  • Attorney for the Defendant:

    Jay McClaugherty & Associates by Michael McCabe, Arcadia.

The Experts

  • Plaintiff’s Medical Expert(s):

    Kendall Wagner, M.D., orthopedic surgery, Fullerton.

    Deborah Cresswell, Ph.D., psychology, Encino.

  • Defendant's Medical Expert(s):

    Richard Rosenberg, M.D.,  orthopedic surgery, Tarzana.

    Daniel Kaplan, M.D., orthopedic surgery, La Habra.

    Brian Jacks, M.D., psychology/psychiatry, Beverly Hills.

  • Plaintiff's Technical Expert(s):

    Jon Landerville, PE, accident reconstruction.

  • Defendant's Technical Expert(s):

    Lorne T. Starks, accident reconstruction

    Beau LeBlanc, accident reconstruction

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    Chika Lim was driving home from Cal Poly Pomona on the 10 westbound at approximately 1:00 a.m. on May 27, 2016 in her Toyota Corolla. She came to a complete stop in heavy traffic due to a car accident ahead of her.

    About 30 seconds after coming to a complete stop, Chika Lim placed her vehicle in park and activated her emergency brake. She left the vehicle running. Approximately five seconds later, she was struck from the rear by Gregory Smith (Estate of Gregory Smith) who was driving a Toyota Tacoma. At the same time, a black Audi A8 that was being driven by defendant Chin Sheying Wang struck the rear of the Toyota Tacoma and caused the Tacoma's gas tank to rupture. Gregory Smith was trapped in his Toyota Tacoma and suffered fatal injuries as a result of the fire. A passenger in defendant Chin Sheying Wang's Audi A8 also suffered fatal injuries from blunt force trauma.

    Plaintiff Chika Lim suffered minor impact soft tissue injuries to her neck and back.

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    That plaintiff suffered musculoskeletal injuries to her neck and back during the crash. Also, that she suffered severe emotional distress from being involved in a freeway crash involving two fatalities.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    That plaintiff suffered minor impact soft tissue injuries to her neck and back that should have resolved within 4-6 weeks. That plaintiff did not suffer from severe emotional distress and that she could not recover for severe emotional distress as the result of witnessing a non-relative's death.

Injuries and Other Damages

  • Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:

    Musculoskeletal injuries to neck and back.

  • Severe emotional distress and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Special Damages

  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Medical: None.
  • Special Damages Claimed - Future Medical: $31,250
  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Lost Earnings: None.
  • Special Damages Claimed - Future Lost Earnings: None.

Additional Notes

Plaintiff settled with defendant Estate of Gregory Smith on the first day of trial, accepting Estate of Gregory Smith's C.C.P. 998 offer of $25,000.

Defendant Chin Sheying Wang offered a waiver of costs in exchange for dismissal pursuant to C.C.P. 998. Plaintiff sent a C.C.P. 998 offer to defendant Chin Sheying Wang in January 2019 for $60,000. The total judgment against Chin Sheying Wang exceeded $60,000, and plaintiff recovered expert costs and interest.

The total amount of the judgment against defendant Chin Sheying Wang is $121,460.50. The total recovery from both defendants is $146,460.50. In December 2019, defendant Chin Sheying Wang filed a notice of appeal.