Jury Finds Multiple Pain Management Procedures Were Unreasonable and Unnecessary
On May 10th, 2021, Scott Macdonald and Elizabeth Tingen secured a favorable verdict in Orange County. The subject accident occurred on Pacific Coast Highway in Huntington Beach. Plaintiff had come to a sudden stop and was rear-ended by Defendant. Plaintiff’s vehicle was pushed into the vehicle ahead. Plaintiff drove himself to the hospital where he was treated and released. His primary care physician recommended physical therapy. He want to a couple of visits, but then elected to stop his treatments and seek pain management procedures which had been recommended to him by attorney-referred doctors. Plaintiff acted upon those recommendations and underwent two radio frequency ablations, one facet block, one trigger point and one epidural steroid injection. Plaintiff claimed the need for a spinal cord stimulator to control ongoing pain. Plaintiff asked the jury for $82,000 in past medical bills (reduced from a gross number of $137,000) and $145,000 in future medical expenses. Plaintiff sought more than $1.7 million from the jury.
Defendant disputed that the injury was anything more than a soft-tissue injury. Defendant presented expert testimony to establish that the numerous and invasive procedures were neither reasonable nor necessary considering the failure of plaintiff to follow his own physician’s advice to seek supervised physical therapy which the therapist testified should have been sufficient to promote the healing plaintiff claims did not occur. The defense argued that the jury’s award should not exceed approximately $60,0000.
Defendant had offered $150,000 prior to trial. Plaintiff refused to negotiate off the policy limits.
The jury returned a verdict of $59,503.92. This consisted of $27,503.92 in past medical specials, $2,000 in future medical specials, $30,0000 in past and suffering and no future pain and suffering.