2/24/2006 - Posted by:
Kohn Law Office
Phone: 760-721-8182
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Recovered $715,000 in addition to $125,000 in medical payments from the United States in a personal injury motor vehicle collision case pending in Federal Court.

he plaintiffs were an injured 50-year-old Oceanside woman and her retired military husband. The wife suffered neck, shoulder, and back injuries in a crash on December 9, 2000 on Mission Avenue in Oceanside. The collision was caused by an army attorney who pulled out from a stop sign to make a left turn into the path of the woman’s vehicle. Her husband claimed loss of consortium due to his wife’s injuries. In the three years following the collision, the woman underwent 3 major surgical procedures. She suffered a herniated disc at C3-4 requiring an anterior discectomy and cervical fusion on 9/5/02. She suffered left shoulder impingement syndrome necessitating arthroscopic surgery on 3/13/03. She also suffered lumbar nerve impingement requiring a multi-level laminectomy from the L3 to S1 levels on 2/2/04. The lumbar surgery resulted in excessive fluid accumulation requiring insertion of a drain tube in the lumbar spine for 3 ½ weeks. The United States contended that the lumbar surgery was unrelated to the crash since, although the woman initially had low back strain symptoms in the first two months after the collision, she did not thereafter complain of low back pain to any of her many different medical providers for over two years. The United States contended that the low back surgery was due to significant pre-existing degenerative disc disease. Plaintiffs’ economic damages, which were disputed by the government, included medical expenses of approximately $158,000, possible future neck surgery costs of $50,000, loss of earnings for the woman of about $6,000, and loss of earnings of her husband of approximately $40,000 because he had to stay home to care for her. Although all of the surgeries were painful procedures requiring significant rehabilitation therapy, they were all successful and the woman has made a remarkable recovery with relatively minimal residual symptoms. The case settled following two settlement hearings, the first was a lengthy mediation in June 2004 before retired Justice Gerald Lewis and a subsequent settlement conference before Magistrate Judge Jan Adler in September 2004.
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