Member Mike Parks won a defense verdict in November 2020 in the 21st Judicial District Court in Tangipahoa Parish in favor of the Defendant Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (“UM”) insurer. The Court ruled that the nature and extent of the plaintiff’s personal injuries and damages were not sufficient to allow any recovery under her UM policy.
Over four (4) years after the December 2015 auto accident, Plaintiff testified at trial that she was still suffering from pain in her neck, mid- and low back despite having had very sporadic formal treatment. She claimed that she had always self-treated with over-the-counter medications, yoga and aroma therapy.
Mike was able to prove that after a brief period of medical treatment in the first two months immediately following the accident, plaintiff then had a gap of fourteen (14) months without complaints and without seeking any neck or back treatment. Using certified medical records from the Plaintiff’s primary care physician (PCP), Mike established that Plaintiff treated regularly with her PCP during the 14-month gap without ever making any complaints of neck or back pain, and with normal spine exams. Mike pointed out that those medical records included references to plaintiff flying to California for a baby shower and to her treatment for elbow pain which had arisen in 2016 without trauma.
On cross-examination, Plaintiff could not explain why she had sought treatment for elbow pain but had never told her PCP that she was having ongoing neck and back pain.
Plaintiff’s main witness was Dr. Samuel E. Greenberg (MD) who initially testified that plaintiff’s chiropractic treatment at Healing Health was related to the accident. On direct examination, Dr. Greenberg testified that Plaintiff’s pre-existing thoracic scoliosis significantly complicated her recovery from the accident and that it was no surprise that she still had back pain.
On cross-examination, Mike confronted Dr. Greenberg with plaintiff’s sporadic treatment, of which he was not aware. Mike confronted Dr. Greenberg with the fact that the first medical record to document Plaintiff’s claims of mid-back pain was his own Healing Health chart note sixteen months post-accident. Mike also educated Dr. Greenberg about Plaintiff’s gap in treatment and the lack of medical records to document her symptoms for the time leading up to her chiropractic care. Mike forced Dr. Greenberg to admit that he could not relate the chiropractic treatment or her current pain to the accident given that Plaintiff regularly sought medical attention while failing to mention any neck or back symptoms.
Dr. Greenberg also had to admit that his medical license had previously been revoked due to Medicare fraud and that although he had been re-instated, he had just been publicly reprimanded in July 2020 by the La. State Board of Medical Examiners because he had violated a former patient’s privacy rights under HIPPA.