Multiple Epidural Injections in a Low-Impact Case
On December 3, 2019, an Orange County Jury awarded a total of $2,500 for three plaintiffs with combined Medical Bills of over $225,000. Scott Macdonald of Macdonald & Cody, LLP tried the case after plaintiff refused to negotiate off of the $100,000 policy limit demands for both adult plaintiffs and offered no serious discussions regarding the minor plaintiff. The adult plaintiffs were offered $35,000 and $30,000 by way of C.C.P. Section 998 offers. The minor plaintiff was offered $15,000 by way of C.C.P. Section 998.
The accident occurred when defendant rear-ended plaintiffs’ vehicle. Plaintiffs’ vehicle was pushed into a third vehicle. The occupants of the lead vehicle claimed injury and were those cases were reasonably resolved. Plaintiffs all took ambulance rides to the hospital. They called their lawyer and were immediately referred to chiropractic treatment. All three plaintiffs were given MRI exams of all spinal levels. The two adult plaintiffs were referred to pain management doctors. Both plaintiffs had a series of three cervical epidurals given at two-week intervals, followed by three lumbar spine epidurals given at two-week intervals. Both plaintiffs had their epidurals on the same days. Both plaintiffs claimed no relief from any of the treatment obtained. The medical specials for the two adult plaintiffs were $106,000 and $107,000.
The defense presented the testimony of a biomechanical engineer who opined that the accident in question was insufficient to produce forces which would cause anything other than minor symptoms which would be expected to resolve within hours. The defense also presented the testimony of a neuroradiologist who testified that the injections administered were not indicated and gave no medical benefit to plaintiffs. Finally, the defense orthopedist told the jury that based upon his examination of plaintiffs and his review of the records that no care and treatment beyond the initial emergency room visit was reasonable or necessary. Plaintiffs own orthopedic expert admitted on cross-examination that 80 to 90% of the individuals involved in this collision would resolve without any care or treatment.
Plaintiffs filed a Motion for New Trial which was denied.