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Cobos v. JMR and CLS Inc

How Dr. Richard Owen’s Testimony on Chiropractic Care of Crash Patient Yielded $3M+ Award

The Expert: Dr. Richard Owen, a Las Vegas-based chiropractor, details his treatment of the plaintiff, as well as pain and limitations she suffered following the injury.

By Dr. Gary F. Gansar, MD, FACS
Senior Physician Medical Director, AMFS

In a 2018 Nevada over injuries a plaintiff claimed she suffered in a collision with a tow truck, Dr. Richard Owen, a Las Vegas chiropractor, testified as to his treatment of the patient as well as the pain and limitations that she suffered following the injury.

In this clip, the plaintiff attorney directs Dr. Owen to read and interpret his office notes, which he had recorded during several months of treating the plaintiff. He saw her just about once a week, and reads from the notes sequentially as he paints a picture of a woman that is constantly hampered by back, neck, and shoulder discomfort that worsens as she continues to try to work as a delivery driver. These duties aggravated her neck, back, and shoulder, while her work as a checker in a store strained her lower back, buttocks, and legs. Even though her symptoms improved irregularly, they always seemed to return.

The doctor explains how patients tend to “overcompensate” to protect their injured side. They rely on the non-injured side so much that it suffers from overuse and becomes symptomatic itself. This, he explains, is why the plaintiff suffered from right shoulder pain even though the right shoulder was not initially injured. This phenomenon frequently becomes apparent once the pain is alleviated in one location. The same location on the other side, in order to protect the injured site, has been used so much in ways that it is not used to performing that the location begins to show signs of strain and becomes painful.

Eventually the plaintiff needed lumbar injections for persistent lower back pain. This, the expert explains, helped and needed to be repeated, but did not completely rid her of this pain.

When questioned, Owen testifies that mild pain allows normal movement, but that the action is slowed or painful. “People can live with mild pain.” Moderate pain is significant and indicates a limitation in mobility due to the pain.

Owen’s testimony helped yield a $3.382 million verdict.

About the Author Dr. Gary F. Gansar, MD, FACS

Gary Gansar, MD, is residency-trained in general surgery. He served as Chief of Surgery and Staff at Elmwood Medical Center and on the Medical Executive Committee at Touro Infirmary and Mercy Hospital in New Orleans, LA. Dr. Gansar was Board Certified in general surgery while in active practice. He joined AMFS in 2015 as a Physician Medical Director.

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