Panish Shea & Boyle attorneys Rahul Ravipudi and David Rudorfer obtained
a $3,102,463.62 jury verdict for a woman who suffered a ruptured
cervical disc as the result of a low speed, rear end car accident. The
trial was held in the Los Angeles County Superior Court in Pasadena,
On May 10, 2011, 56-year-old Teresa Gamage was the front passenger in a
vehicle that was stopped at a red light in Beverly Hills, California
when it was struck from behind by the defendant driver at a low rate of
speed, resulting in almost no property damage. Ms. Gamage sought
immediate treatment for pain. Although an MRI taken three weeks after
the incident showed degenerative disease with a 3-4mm disc bulge at C5-6
that was not impinging on the spinal cord, the treating neurosurgeon
determined that there was a ruptured disc at C5-6 which was impinging on
the spinal cord and causing radiculopthy. After conservative treatment,
including physical therapy and epidural injections, did not relieve Ms.
Gamage's pain, she proceeded with a C5-6 fusion surgery in November
2011. Ms. Gamage could not afford necessary treatment after the surgery
and id not obtain any.
The defendant driver admitted her negligence caused the collision and
attempted to dispute that the collision caused any injuries to Ms.
Gamage. At trial, attorneys for the defendant questioned causation and
challenged the reasonableness of Ms. Gamage's medical bills, her need
for future medical treatment and the value of her pain and suffering.
The jury disagreed, awarding Ms. Gamage all of her requested past
($197,752.52) and future ($1,904,711.10) medical expenses and an
additional $1,000,000 for past and future pain and suffering.
Rahul Ravipudi, counsel for Ms. Gamage, stated, "this verdict is a fair
and just outcome that ensures that Ms. Gamage's medical care will be
taken care of for the rest of her life. This is a case that need not
have gone to trial but for the unreasonableness of the defendant's
insurance company." In eleventh hour settlement discussions, the
insurance company offered only $87,000 to settle the case, and the
highest offer before the start of trial was $350,000. "Hopefully this
case serves as notice to insurance companies that they need to be
reasonable and offer fair compensation," continued Mr. Ravipudi.
While the jury was deliberating, the parties reached a high/low
agreement of $650,000 and $5,250,000, plus costs, with all rights to
appeal waived. The jury deliberated for approximately four hours before
reaching its verdict.
The defendant driver was represented at trial by the Law Office of
Gregory J. Lucett. The referring plaintiff's lawyer was Hamed
This is the third multi-million dollar jury verdict obtained by Panish
Shea & Boyle LLP attorneys this year. Last month, in Diao v.
Southern California Gas Co., also tried by Mr. Ravipudi, the firm
obtained a $19,786,818 jury verdict for a man injured in a home gas
explosion. In May, the firm obtained a $15,313,703 jury verdict for a
woman and her daughter after the woman suffered a broken back while
riding on a recklessly driven Alameda-Contra Costa Transit bus.
Teresa Gamage v. Estelle RoitblatSuperior Court of
California, County of Los AngelesCase No. BC490437Hon. Jan
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