A gay 23-year-old Hispanic fast food worker was rear-ended on the 101 Freeway in Ventura. She was on her way to work but was hit by a Ford 150. It was a big visual impact. Defendant tried to exclude the pictures for the jury but was denied. The defendant, a 3x convicted felon, was not injured. However, the judge would not allow the jury to hear that defendant was a felon and had to wear handcuffs to court each day---they were removed each morning before the trial began.
An ambulance took away the plaintiff to the local hospital. Her HMO doctor referred her to physical therapy. She could not work.
She then sought care from Garry Kraft for conservative chiropractic management. After slow progress Dr. Kraft referred her to Dr. Scheinberg, an orthopedic surgeon for evaluation. After two years, conservative management did not work and the plaintiff sought surgical intervention with a L4/L5 laminectomy.
Defense argued that surgery was unnecessary and her back pain went away from a placebo effect.
The offer before trial was $250,000. Medical expenses were $159,043.65. Future medicals $550,000. Past LOE $645,640. Future LOE $25,000.
The jury awarded $1,090,716. Judge Biao presiding. Ventura County Superior Court. March 2017.