Intersection collision when defendant loses control during left turn. $110K. San Diego County.


Liability is not disputed, defense claims over-treatment for back injury.

The Case

  • Case Name: Phuong Nguyen v. Christina Peart
  • Court and Case Number: San Diego Superior Court / 37-2017-00001440-CU-PA-CTL
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Tuesday, March 12, 2019
  • Date Action was Filed: Thursday, January 12, 2017
  • Type of Case: Vehicles - Intersection
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Eddie Sturgeon
  • Plaintiffs:
    Phuong Nguyen, 27.
  • Defendants:
    Christina Peart
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: $110,200.17
  • Economic Damages:

    Past: $15,200.17

    No future economic damages requested.

  • Non-Economic Damages:

    Past: $75,000

    Future: $20,000

  • Trial or Arbitration Time: 4 days.
  • Jury Deliberation Time: 1 day.

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:

    Hepburn, Hernandez and Jung Trial Attorneys by Elliott Jung and Adam Hepburn, San Diego.

    SD Lawyer by Macyh Nawaey, San Diego.

  • Attorney for the Defendant:

    Raffalow, Rhoads & Bretoi by John Bonno, San Diego.

The Experts

  • Plaintiff’s Medical Expert(s):

    Howard Waldman, DO, pain management, San Diego. (Treating physician.)

    David Huynh, DC, San Diego. (Treating physician.)

  • Defendant's Medical Expert(s):

    Raymond Vance, M.D., orthopedic surgery, San Diego.

    Richard Rhee, M.D., radiology, Newport Beach.

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    Plaintiff was driving back to work after having lunch on August 2, 2016. She was waiting at an intersection in La Jolla and there was one car waiting ahead of her. As she was waiting, the defendant drove a Jeep SUV through the intersection and turned left. Defendant lost control while turning left and drove into the opposite lane of travel.

    Defendant first hit the car in front of plaintiff and ultimately hit the front driver's side corner of plaintiff's car. Plaintiff was taken to the ER and  went home the same day. A couple days later plaintiff went to a chiropractor on a referral from her friend. Plaintiff treated from the beginning of August 2016 to November 21, 2016 with a chiropractor. In early October, Plaintiff was referred to Dr. Waldman who gave her a steroid injection the same day at the C5-C6 level. No other treatment was done after November 21, 2016.

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    That defendant's negligence caused the collision in which plaintiff was injured.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    Plaintiff had only minor soft tissue injuries that did not require medical treatment past 8-12 weeks. Defendant argued that plaintiff did not require chiropractic treatment past 12 weeks, did not require any MRI imaging, and did not require a steroid injection. Further, that plaintiff had testified during her deposition that her life was not affected by the accident, she only felt pain in her back "sometimes," and also only felt pain in her neck once a week.

    Plaintiff also got into a subsequent car accident where she was rear-ended by a pick-up truck and she called 911 and described her injuries. Defendant argued that plaintiff could not be in continuing pain because she stopped treating with a chiropractor in November of 2016 and had not sought any further treatment.

Injuries and Other Damages

  • Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
    Cervicotrapezius sprain, neck pain, lower back pain.

Special Damages

  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Medical: 15,200.17
  • Special Damages Claimed - Future Medical: None.
  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Lost Earnings: None.
  • Special Damages Claimed - Future Lost Earnings: None.

Demands and Offers

  • Plaintiff §998 Demand: $23,000 on Nov. 10, 2017.

Additional Notes

Plaintiff's initial demand: $45,000 on Dec. 10, 2016. Defense made a $4,000 counter-offer on Jan. 10, 2017.  

Defendant driver's insurer: Mercury Insurance