On September 25, 2015, Travis Thompson, then 28 years old, was employed as a seasonal firefighter. While driving north on Route 101, his Honda Civic was rear-ended by defendant Peter Parnow. The next day, Travis began experiencing neck pain. After a period of conservative treatment, he was ultimately diagnosed with a C5-6 disc injury and underwent a disc replacement surgery.
Travis claimed that the impact caused the disc injury. His treating orthopedic surgeon, Paul Slosar, M.D., recommended disc replacement surgery after conservative measures, including chiropractic care and pain injections, failed.
Though the surgery resolved the radicular component of the pain, Travis continued to suffer axial pain which limited his cervical mobility. He was unable to continue as a seasonal firefighter. Travis alleged that he would have been able to continue working towards a full time firefighting position had he not been injured. A claim was made for impaired earning capacity.
Defendant claimed that the forces of the impact were insufficient to have caused the injury and that the plaintiff’s cervical pathology was either pre-existing or related to a construction injury which occurred after the accident. The defendant asserted that Travis would not have been able to become a full time firefighter even if the accident had not occurred.