Stephan Brewington v. United States of America et al

Filing 96

FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW signed by Judge Dolly M. Gee: The Court awards Plaintiff Stephan Brewington $725,147.25 in future medical expenses; $632,536 in past and future lost earnings; and $250,000 in noneconomic damages. Plaintiffs counsel may submit a motion for reasonable attorneys fees within 30 days from the date of this Order. (lc)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 STEPHAN BREWINGTON, Plaintiff, 12 13 14 15 16 v. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Defendant. ) ) Case No. CV 13-07672-DMG (CWx) ) ) FINDINGS OF FACT AND ) CONCLUSIONS OF LAW ) ) ) ) ) ) ) 17 18 This matter is before the Court following a bench trial which took place on June 19 30, 2015 through July 2, 2015. John F. DeNove, Diane M. Corwin, and Alicia S. Curran 20 appeared on behalf of Plaintiff Stephan Brewington. 21 appeared on behalf of Defendant United States of America. Garrett Coyle and Julie Zatz 22 Having carefully reviewed the evidence and the arguments of counsel, as presented 23 at trial and in their written submissions, the Court makes the following findings of fact 24 and conclusions of law pursuant to Rule 52 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. 25 26 27 28 -1- 1 I. 2 FINDINGS OF FACT 3 On August 12, 2011, Stephan Brewington went to the Department of Veteran 4 Affairs Greater Los Angeles hospital (the “VA”) for treatment of a branch retinal vein 5 occlusion that affected the vision in his left eye. The prescribed treatment was an 6 injection into his left eye of Avastin, a drug used to treat conditions like macular edema. 7 (Final PreTrial Conference Order (“PTO”) 5a, b [Doc. # 45].) Instead of injecting 8 Avastin, the VA injected Mr. Brewington’s left eye with Velcade, a chemotherapy drug, 9 causing irreversible blindness in Mr. Brewington’s left eye. (PTO 5c, d.) There was no 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 evidence presented as to any approved or medically indicated intraocular use of Velcade. To the contrary, whether directly or indirectly, Velcade caused serious injury to Mr. Brewington, including blindness in the left eye, mild chemical meningitis, left hemisensory deficits, chronic daily headache of a migrainous nature, rebound headaches, neuropathic orbital pain syndrome, depression, and anxiety. (Trial Declaration of H. Ronald Fisk, M.D. (“Fisk Decl.”) ¶ 8 [Doc. # 56]; Trial Declaration of Raghu C. Murthy, M.D. (“Murthy Decl.”) ¶¶ 14-15 [Doc. # 50].) Mr. Brewington maintains 20/20 vision in his right eye. (PTO 5g.) At the time of the Velcade injection, Mr. Brewington was 42 years of age. (PTO 5h.) 20 The Velcade injection initially caused significant ocular inflammation in Mr. 21 Brewington’s left eye. Ocular inflammation can cause pain in the inflamed area as well 22 as around the eye. 23 migraine-type headache. (Trial Declaration of Pradeep Prasad, M.D. (“Prasad Decl.”) ¶ 8 24 [Doc. # 53].) By at least March 12, 2013, however, the ocular inflammation was fully 25 resolved. (Prasad Decl. ¶ 8; Defendant’s Exhibit 101 at 724-25.) The results of an 26 October 14, 2011 MRI of Mr. Brewington’s left orbit showed resolution of the globe 27 enhancement, no abnormal orbital enhancement, normal appearance of the optic nerve, This inflammation triggered Mr. Brewington’s orbital pain and 28 -2- 1 and resolution of prior swelling of the soft tissues of the eyelid. (Prasad Decl. ¶ 9; 2 Defendant’s Exhibit 101 at 44.) These results, as well as Dr. Prasad’s examination of Mr. 3 Brewington’s left eye, confirmed the absence of objective signs of orbital inflammation. 4 (Prasad Decl. ¶ 9.) Thus, a little after a month following the Velcade injection, signs of 5 the inflammation associated with the injection had abated. 6 Brewington reported that he continued to experience pain around his left eye radiating to 7 the back of his head. (Id.) 8 A. 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 (Id.) Nonetheless, Mr. Treatment Since the Injury Since the injection, Mr. Brewington has continued to receive treatment at the VA. (PTO 5e.) He has seen medical providers in a variety of specialties, including neurology, ophthalmology, pain management, and psychiatry. (See Defendant’s Exhibit 101.) Mr. Brewington has also been prescribed increasing doses of opiates, such as Methadone, Dilaudid, Fentanyl, and OxyContin, to address his complaints of pain. He has also been taking anti-inflammatory medication and anti-anxiety medication. (See id.) Mr. Brewington was offered but declined the opportunity to participate in the Comprehensive Pain Management and Rehabilitation Programs at the VA hospital. 18 (Trial Testimony of Quynh Pham and Hyung Kim; Defendant’s Exhibit 101 at 834 (note 19 in record stated “discussed comprehensive pain and rehab program, but patient declined 20 at this time”).) He also turned down the VA’s offer to attend a non-VA pain management 21 program of his choice, which the VA would subsidize. (Id.; Defendant’s Exhibit 101 at 22 740-42 (“Pt was once again reminded that he has been approved by the administration to 23 seek outside expertise for the management of his pain.”); 746 (“Pt has been approved by 24 the VA Administration to seek outside pain providers, should he wishes [sic] to seek this 25 option. Pt has previously declined this option because he feels that, this being a VA- 26 initiated issue, he would like the VA to address his concerns.”); 759 (“Of note, pt has 27 been approved by the VA Administration to seek outside pain providers, and this option 28 -3- 1 was presented to the patient as well, especially given the time associated with his travel 2 from his residence in Pasadena to WLA.”).) 3 B. Medical Conditions 4 1. 5 The parties’ experts disagree as to whether Mr. Brewington suffers from Central 6 Pain Syndrome, which is an irreversible condition, or from Centralized or Centralization 7 of Pain syndrome, which may potentially be reversed with proper care and treatment. 8 (Trial Declaration of Laura Audell (“Audell Decl.”) ¶ 14; Fisk Decl. ¶ 17e.) The Court 9 cannot determine by a preponderance of the evidence which of these syndromes actually 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Pain applies to Mr. Brewington. What the experts can agree upon, and which the Court does find, is that Mr. Brewington suffers from chronic pain, resulting from the Velcade injection. Without applying any labels to it, the experts appear to agree that due to neuroplasticity, the severity or persistence of pain alters the central nervous system pathways of pain processing, increasing the number and excitability of the nociceptors that allow pain signals to travel through the sensory nerve fibers. (Audell Decl. ¶ 14; Fisk Decl. ¶¶ 13-14.) Generally, once these changes occur, a person may experience 18 hyperalgesia, an increased response to a normally painful stimulus, and allodynia, a pain 19 response to a stimulus that does not normally produce pain. (Id. ¶ 15.) 20 According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Central 21 Pain Syndrome is distinct: it is a “neurological condition caused by physical damage to 22 or dysfunction of the central nervous system (CNS),” which is typically the result of 23 “stroke, multiple sclerosis, tumors, epilepsy, brain or spinal cord trauma, or Parkinson’s 24 Disease. . . .” (Audell Decl. ¶ 22.) 25 Although Mr. Brewington posits that he has Central Pain Syndrome, there is little 26 support in the record that Mr. Brewington suffers from that condition as it has been 27 defined by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. 28 -4- First, Mr. 1 Brewington has not experienced any of the typical causes of the syndrome, such as 2 stroke, multiple sclerosis, tumors, epilepsy, brain or spinal cord trauma, or Parkinson’s 3 Disease. (See Defendant’s Exhibit 101.) Moreover, two MRIs of Mr. Brewington’s 4 brain have not revealed any evidence of physical damage to the central nervous system. 5 (Trial Declaration of Edwin Amos, M.D. (“Amos Decl.”) ¶ 17 [Doc. # 65].) 6 Defendant, on the other hand, asserts that Mr. Brewington has Opioid-Induced 7 Hyperalgesia (“OIH”), which Defendant argues is also closely associated with altered 8 central pain processing. OIH is a condition caused by exposure to opioids whereby a 9 patient receiving opioids for the treatment of pain paradoxically becomes more sensitive 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 to painful stimuli. (Fisk Decl. ¶ 19; Plaintiff’s Exhibit 22 (“A Comprehensive Review of Opioid-Induced Hyperalgesia”).) The evidence does not establish that Mr. Brewington has OIH. One of the hallmarks of OIH is the worsening of pain at the original site or the appearance of distant and more diffuse pain throughout the body. (Id.) First, with respect to worsening pain, the record does not reflect definitive instances where Mr. Brewington’s pain increased after taking opioids or decreased after ceasing to use opioids, which would be consistent 18 with OIH. Instead, Mr. Brewington has generally experienced some relief after taking 19 opioids. (See, e.g., Fisk Decl. ¶ 6(13), (15), (16), (20), (30), (31) (summary of notes in 20 medical record); ¶ 19.) 21 Second, with respect to distant or diffuse pain, Mr. Brewington has reported pain 22 in areas as disparate as his left leg and buttock and thigh areas. (See Fisk Decl. ¶ 6(28) 23 (summary of September 26, 2012 note in medical record).) The parties disagree as to 24 whether pain in these areas constitutes “diffuse” pain. Plaintiff asserts that diffuse pain 25 would be distributed more evenly across the body and would radiate outward from a 26 location on the body. Defendant, on the other hand, argues that discrete pockets of pain, 27 so long as they are located other than in the left eye, indicate diffuse pain. The Court 28 -5- 1 declines to resolve this issue in light of the conflicting medical testimony presented at 2 trial. 3 Although there are instances in Mr. Brewington’s medical record where OIH is 4 mentioned as a possible concern, he was never diagnosed with OIH. 5 Exhibit 101 at 44, 357, 362, 577, 702, 745, 759.) Nor did Mr. Brewington’s doctors at 6 the VA prescribe treatment—namely, cessation of opioid use—that would be appropriate 7 for an OIH diagnosis. Instead, the VA continued to prescribe opioids at ever-increasing 8 dosages to Mr. Brewington. (See Defendant’s Exhibit 101.) 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 (Defendant’s In short, it has not been shown by a preponderance of the evidence in the record that Mr. Brewington has OIH. Although the Court cannot find by a preponderance of the evidence that Mr. Brewington has Central Pain Syndrome, Centralization of Pain Syndrome, or OIH, the record is clear that Mr. Brewington has chronic pain resulting from the Velcade injection. As a result of the chronic pain, Mr. Brewington has taken increasing dosages of opioids and, in the process, developed opioid tolerance. (See Fisk Decl. ¶ 6(32) (“Mr. Brewington is thinking about going off meds for a while as he believes he is developing a 18 tolerance to it – in the past, this seems to have worked for him.”).) A person with opioid 19 tolerance requires more opioids to achieve the same pain-dampening effect. Moreover, 20 Mr. Brewington’s prolonged opioid use has exacerbated other problems, such as 21 hypogonadism and sleep apnea. (See Fisk Decl. ¶ 6(28) (medical record noted secondary 22 hypogonadism from pain medication use); (30) (note in medical record indicated 23 concerns with prolonged regimen of high dose opioids on Mr. Brewington’s endocrine 24 function, immune system function, and central sleep apnea).) 25 2. 26 Mr. Brewington has Medication Overuse Headaches (“MOH”). The International 27 Classification of Headache Disorders (3rd edition) has defined MOH as a chronic Medication Overuse / Rebound Headaches 28 -6- 1 headache disorder in which the headache occurs for more than three months on 15 or 2 more days per month due to regular overuse of medication. Medications most implicated 3 in MOH include opioids such as methadone and dilaudid, triptans, combination 4 analgesics, and anti-inflammatories. (Audell Decl. ¶ 16.) 5 3. 6 Mr. Brewington has depression and anxiety, which were caused by the Velcade 7 injection. Both can worsen pain. (Fisk Decl. ¶ 25i, j.) Although the Court does not find 8 that Mr. Brewington has OIH, his increasing tolerance to opioids has heightened his use 9 of opioids. The prolonged use of opioids has affected his wellness in other areas, such as 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Depression and Anxiety his libido and ability to sleep, deepening his depression and anxiety. This in turn has negatively impacted his experience of pain, propelling him to seek higher dosages of opioids to address the pain. 4. Cognitive Dysfunction Absent a structural brain problem or chemical meningitis, neither of which Mr. Brewington demonstrated he has, Mr. Brewington’s cognitive dysfunction is likely due to incompletely treated depression and narcotic medication side effects. (Amos Decl. ¶¶ 17, 18 24.) Any cognitive dysfunction is thus not directly attributable to the Velcade injection 19 and is potentially remediable. (Amos Decl. ¶ 21.) 20 5. Summary Prognosis 21 Mr. Brewington suffered an injury to his left eye caused by an injection of 22 Velcade, which caused inflammation to the orbit of the eye and the optic nerve, acute 23 pain, and irreversible blindness in that eye. 24 subsided, the severity or duration of the acute pain Mr. Brewington experienced changed 25 the central nervous system pathways that process painful stimuli. Mr. Brewington now 26 experiences chronic pain. Because of his complaints of chronic pain, Mr. Brewington 27 was prescribed opioids at increasing dosages, eventually developing opioid tolerance. 28 -7- Although the orbital inflammation has 1 Nothing is preventing Mr. Brewington, however, from participating in a comprehensive 2 pain management and rehabilitation program. (Fisk Decl. ¶ 16.) 3 The Velcade injection also led to depression and anxiety, for which he also takes 4 medication. He has been or is prescribed medication for other conditions, such as sleep 5 apnea, low testosterone, and hypertension. As a result of his heavy use of medication, 6 Mr. Brewington experiences Medication Overuse Headaches. 7 exhibits mild cognitive dysfunction, but it is not directly attributable to the injection. Mr. Brewington also 8 Mr. Brewington has retained normal sight in his right eye. Furthermore, he does 9 not have deep vein thrombosis, significant cardiac disease, endocrine disease (except low 10 11 12 testosterone), urologic disease (except low libido), or gastrointestinal disease. Defendant’s Exhibit 101.) Mr. Brewington also drives an unmodified car, albeit on a limited basis. (PTO ¶ 6b.) 13 Mr. Brewington’s life expectancy as an African American 46.4-year-old male is 14 15 28.61 years. (Declaration of Jerald Udinsky (“Udinsky Decl.”) ¶ 12.) In light of the factual findings above, the Court concludes that, even were he to 16 17 (See learn to manage his pain without heavy dependence on opioid medication, Mr. 18 Brewington will not be able to return to work because of his chronic pain, depression, 19 and anxiety, which were caused by the injection. Given the nature and range of Mr. 20 Brewington’s ailments, the prognosis for his recovery to the point where he can regain 21 his ability to work is poor. 22 C. Award of Damages 23 1. 24 Mr. Brewington has incurred no medical expenses up to the point of trial because 25 all of his care has been provided and paid for by the VA. (PTO 5e, f.) With respect to 26 future medical benefits, should Mr. Brewington choose not to continue receiving medical 27 care at the VA, the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) ensures that Mr. Brewington will have Future Health Care and Life Plan Needs 28 -8- 1 access to insurance covering his future medical care needs as a result of the Velcade 2 injection. (Pub.L. No. 111, 148, 124 Stat. 119 (Mar. 23, 2010).) Mr. Brewington has 3 access to health insurance plans on California’s health benefit exchanges. (See California 4 Health Benefit Exchange, (last visited July 16, 2015).) 5 Based upon the Court’s factual findings, described supra, a review of the relevant 6 health care services provided for in the parties’ respective life care plans, and Mr. 7 Brewington’s access to ACA coverage, the Court finds by a preponderance of the 8 evidence that $725,147.25 is a reasonable amount to award Mr. Brewington for his future 9 health care expenses. 10 2. 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Back and Front Pay For 10 months prior to the Velcade injection, Mr. Brewington had not been employed as a production scheduler. (PTO ¶ 6a.) Based upon his earning history and the published wage data for production schedulers in Los Angeles County, Mr. Brewington’s earning capacity in the last year that he worked prior to his injury as a contract production scheduler was about $42,000 per year. (Declaration of Roger Thrush, Ph.D. (“Thrush Decl.”) ¶ 6 [Doc. # 62].) Given Mr. Brewington’s lack of any documented earning 18 history as a personal trainer and the absence of any reliable data on wages of self- 19 employed personal trainers, it is too speculative to conclude what Mr. Brewington would 20 have earned had he become a self-employed part-time personal trainer. (Id.) As of June 30, 2015, the present cash value of Mr. Brewington’s past and future 21 22 lost earnings as a result of the Velcade injection is $632,536. 23 3. 24 Based on the totality of the circumstances, and having considered the evidence and 25 all of the relevant factors, the Court finds that $250,000 is reasonable compensation for 26 Mr. Brewington’s past and future pain and suffering. 27 /// Pain and Suffering Damages 28 -9- 1 II. 2 CONCLUSIONS OF LAW 3 A. California Law Applies Under the Federal Tort Claims Act 4 In an action brought pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act (“FTCA”), 28 U.S.C. 5 § 2671 et seq., the law of the place where the allegedly negligent act or omission 6 occurred governs the substantive law applied. 28 U.S.C. § 1346(b); Richards v. United 7 States, 369 U.S. 1, 9, 82 S. Ct. 585, 591, 7 L. Ed. 2d 492 (1962). To have a cognizable 8 claim, the claim must arise from the negligent or wrongful act of a government employee 9 acting within the scope of his employment under circumstances where the United States, 10 if it were a private individual, would be liable under the law of the state where the claim 11 arose. 28 U.S.C. § 1346(b)(1); Firebaugh Canal Water Dist. v. United States, 712 F.3d 12 1296, 1303 (9th Cir. 2013), cert. denied, 134 S. Ct. 1300, 188 L. Ed. 2d 303 (2014). 13 California law is applicable because the accident occurred in California. 14 B. Plaintiff Must Prove His Claimed Damages Were Caused by the United 15 States’ Acts 16 In California, plaintiffs must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that their 17 claimed damages were caused by the negligent acts or omissions of an employee of the 18 United States. See 28 U.S.C. § 2674; Cal. Evid. Code § 115. Defendant admits liability 19 for injecting Velcade into Mr. Brewington’s left eye, causing irreversible blindness. 20 Therefore, the only element of his negligence claim is the resulting loss or damage. See 21 Johnson v. Super. Ct., 143 Cal. App. 4th 297, 305 (2006). 22 C. Plaintiff’s Recovery 23 1. 24 To recover damages for future medical expenses, Mr. Brewington must prove by a 25 preponderance of the evidence: (1) the reasonable value of each of the expected future 26 medical expenses; (2) that the future medical care, services, and supplies are reasonably 27 certain to be needed and given in treatment of the injury; and (3) that the condition Economic Damages: Future Medical Expenses 28 -10- 1 requiring the future medical care is causally connected to the injuries inflicted by the 2 United States. Dimmick v. Alvarez, 196 Cal. App. 2d 211, 216, 16 Cal. Rptr. 308 (1961). 3 Future medical expenses may not be awarded if they are deemed speculative. See 4 Scognamillo v. Herrick, 106 Cal. App. 4th 1139, 1150-51, 131 Cal. Rptr. 2d 393 (2003). 5 Defendant asserts an affirmative defense of offset for collateral sources under 6 California’s Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act of 1975 (“MICRA”). 7 particular, Defendant seeks to introduce evidence of Affordable Care Act coverage as a 8 collateral source of future medical care expenses. 9 California Civil Code, medical malpractice defendants may introduce evidence of “any 10 amount payable as a benefit to the plaintiff as a result of the personal injury” under “any 11 health, sickness or income-disability insurance, accident insurance that provides health 12 benefits or income-disability coverage, and any contract or agreement of any group, 13 organization, partnership, or corporation to provide, pay for, or reimburse the cost of 14 medical, hospital, dental, or other health care services.” Cal. Civ. Code § 3333.1(a). 15 “[S]ection 3333.1 does not preclude recovery of such damages, but rather, it allows the 16 trier of fact to decide how to apply the evidence in calculation of damages.” S.H. ex rel. 17 Holt v. United States, No. 2:11-CV-01963-MCE, 2014 WL 5501005, at *3 (E.D. Cal. 18 Oct. 30, 2014) (quoting Hernandez v. Cal. Hosp. Med. Ctr., 78 Cal. App. 4th 498, 506, 19 93 Cal. Rptr. 2d 97 (2000)) (internal quotation marks and brackets omitted). In Under Section 3333.1(a) of the 20 Although the Ninth Circuit determined in Taylor v. United States, 821 F.2d 1428, 21 1431-32 (9th Cir. 1987), that Section 3333.2 applies to FTCA actions, it has not explicitly 22 held yet that Section 3333.1(a) applies to an FTCA action. S.H., 2014 WL 5501005, at 23 *4. Nor has it decided whether Section 3333.1(a) allows introduction of future collateral 24 source benefits. 25 consideration. See Silong v. United States, 2007 WL 2580543, at *13-18 (E.D. Cal. Sept. 26 5, 2007) (finding that Section 3333.1 allows the trier of fact to determine how to apply 27 future insurance benefits to damages calculation.); Leung v. Verdugo Hills Hosp., 2013 28 WL 221654, at *4 (Jan. 22, 2013) (assuming without deciding that “the statute permits a Other district courts have taken future insurance benefits into -11- 1 defendant to introduce evidence of future insurance benefits that the plaintiff is 2 reasonably certain to receive”). Thus, this Court finds it appropriate to take insurance 3 benefits available under the ACA into consideration in calculating reasonable future life 4 care plan needs. 5 2. 6 To recover damages for lost earnings, Mr. Brewington must prove by a 7 preponderance of the evidence the reasonable amount of the earnings lost on account of 8 his injuries from the injection. CACI No. 3903C (Sept. 2003). To recover damages for 9 future loss of earnings or earning capacity, Mr. Brewington must prove by a 10 preponderance of the evidence the following: (1) the reasonable amount of the expected 11 future income, earnings, salary, or wages; (2) that Mr. Brewington is reasonably certain 12 to lose such future income, earnings, salary, or wages; and (3) that the future lost income, 13 earnings, salary, or wages is causally connected to the injuries inflicted by the United 14 States. CACI No. 3903C (Sept. 2003). Economic Damages: Lost Earnings 15 3. 16 There is no fixed standard to calculate the amount a plaintiff is entitled to for pain Noneconomic Damages: Pain and Suffering 17 and suffering. 18 reasonable and based on the evidence and factfinder’s common sense. CACI No. 3905A 19 (Dec. 2009). In addition, any award of pain and suffering damages must be causally 20 connected to the tortious act. Miller v. San Diego Gas & Elec. Co., 212 Cal. App. 2d 21 555, 558, 28 Cal. Rptr. 126 (1963). Any damages awarded for pain and suffering, however, must be 22 MICRA caps a plaintiff’s recovery of noneconomic damages for pain and suffering 23 at $250,000. Cal. Civ. Code § 3333.2b; Taylor, 821 F.2d at 1431-32 (MICRA applies to 24 medical malpractice cases brought under the FTCA). 25 4. 26 The above findings of fact were made in recognition of California law, which has 27 long required plaintiffs to “take reasonable steps to mitigate [their] damages” and bars 28 “recover[y] for any losses which could have been thus avoided.” Shaffer v. Debbas, 17 The Duty to Mitigate -12- 1 Cal. App. 4th 33, 41, 21 Cal. Rptr. 2d 110 (1993). Mr. Brewington’s future medical 2 expenses and pain and suffering damages have been caused at least in part by his failure 3 to mitigate damages by accepting the VA’s repeated offers of a comprehensive pain 4 management and rehabilitation program. Although its conclusion is tempered by the fact 5 that successful completion of such a program depends in large part on an individual’s 6 motivation to reduce opioid dependence and manage one’s pain using alternative 7 techniques, the Court concludes that Mr. Brewington could have avoided some of his 8 future medical expenses and pain and suffering (both as a direct result of the injection 9 and as a side effect of his medication use) by agreeing to attend a comprehensive pain 10 management and rehabilitation program whether at the VA or elsewhere. Accordingly, 11 the Court took Plaintiff’s failure to mitigate into account in calculating damages. 12 5. 13 Attorney’s fees are limited to a maximum of 25% of any recovery. 28 U.S.C. § 14 Attorney’s Fees 2678. 15 III. 16 CONCLUSION 17 In light of the foregoing, the Court awards Plaintiff Stephan Brewington 18 $725,147.25 in future medical expenses; $632,536 in past and future lost earnings; and 19 $250,000 in noneconomic damages. 20 reasonable attorney’s fees within 30 days from the date of this Order. Plaintiff’s counsel may submit a motion for 21 22 DATED: July 24, 2015 23 24 DOLLY M. GEE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 25 26 27 28 -13-

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