The following blog entry is written from a defendant’s position post-verdict. Reviewing this kind of briefing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.
(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident/bus accident case and its proceedings.)
Dr. Jones testified that there were absolutely no objective findings of injury at the time of his medical examination. He testified that references in his medical reports to plaintiff having sustained a strain/sprain injury in the accident were based solely upon history provided by plaintiff and not independent findings. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.
In plaintiff’s moving papers, she cites Dr. Jones’s July 18, 2002 report where he notes, “Ms. Perry merely sustained mild sprain, strain and contusion type injuries” as evidence that plaintiff was injured. As noted above, Dr. Jones testified that the diagnosis relied upon by plaintiff was based upon the medical history provided by plaintiff and was not supported by any objective findings on examination. The quote from Dr. Jones’s report is essentially just Dr. Jones’s acknowledgment that plaintiff gave a history of contusion and sprain/strain type complaints.
The overwhelming opinion of Dr. Jones was that plaintiff suffers “a clearly factitious pain disorder.” “Factitious” is defined by Webster’s Dictionary as “sham” produced by humans rather than by “natural forces”; or produced by special effort. Dr. Jones substantiates this opinion with numerous references in his initial report to plaintiff’s exaggerated examination responses and inconsistent and nonsensical behavior at examination. Specifically, Dr. Jones noted that plaintiff was waiving her trunk forward and backward while sitting on the edge of her chair during examination, but later, during examination of the low back, she moved the same parts of her body as though she were writhing in pain .
Later in the examination, Dr. Jones notes she frequently engaged in major deep breathing, grimacing and groaning. At times she was writhing in pain, and crawling from one supporting structure to another. The supporting structures included her chair, a sink top and an examination table. She exhibited major movement gestures and hesitation in her movements. At other times she would brace against the wall with both hands. Further inconsistencies occurred as plaintiff exaggerated response and reported illogic pain on testing. Dr. Jones notes in his report that these findings were clearly representative of chronic pain behavior of a non-physiologic nature, as were numerous portions of the examination.” At trial, Dr. Jones testified repeatedly that plaintiff’s behavior at exam was bizarre.
In concluding his initial report, Dr. Jones notes that plaintiff demonstrates overwhelming amplification of symptoms and impairment. The majority of her physical examination revealed non-physiologic pain behavior, further exemplifying the symptom and impairment amplification. There were no objective findings on examination. (See Part 5 of 9.)
For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.