Driver v. Driver–Ventura Superior Court
Plaintiff, a 60 year-old woman, was driving her vehicle on a street in Simi Valley. Defendant, a 65 year-old woman with her grandchild in the car, turned left in front of plaintiff at an uncontrolled intersection. The collision was substantial and plaintiff’s late model car was totaled.
Plaintiff claimed serious soft-tissue injuries, and she also claimed urinary and fecal incontinence due to spinal injuries that included a subluxated vertebra.
In her earlier years, plaintiff was extremely active in sports. She competed regularly in volleyball leagues. She also had a history of continuing chiropractic treatment that extended back many years, treatment she attributed to the aches and pains of athletic competition. The problem in this case was that there was a serious gap in her records of chiropractic treatment after a certain point, particularly in the last few years before trial. Through dogged pursuit of each reference in her records to other chiropractors outside Ventura County, Mr. Mann through a process of bootstrapping, was able to assemble records that gave a much different perspective about the extent of her treatment, one which was helped by the inattention of plaintiff’s attorney concerning the identity of certain providers whose records had been subpoenaed for trial.
On the stand, plaintiff appeared to be much younger than her stated age, and she testified in a cheery and charming manner during much of her case-in-chief. After allowing plaintiff to minimize the extent and length of her chiropractic treatment, Mr. Mann offered into evidence the subpoenaed chiropractic records that dramatically undercut plaintiff’s credibility. By the next day, plaintiff appeared to have aged 10 years.
Plaintiff demanded $100,000.00 prior to trial. Defendant offered $70,000.00.
The jury returned a verdict of $12,000.00, a small percentage of what had been requested in this clear liability case.