TMZ reports that Christy Gibel of “Little Women: LA” recently filed suit against Beverly Hills medical doctors. Gibel alleges that the expensive and elite doctors botched her surgery and messed up her neck. The procedure Gibel got was anterior discectomy and spinal cord decompression. She had numerous complications after surgery but doctors informed her the symptoms would get better with time.
What the Law Says
In California, there is a $250,000 cap on non-economic damages in these types of lawsuits. Non-economic damages include pain, suffering, loss of consortium, etc. This means that Gibel can’t get any more than $250,000 for non-economic damages. The rest of the award she receives will be her medical bills. That is, only if she settles or is successful at trial. It’s likely a settlement will occur, but without knowing the facts, it’s difficult to say.
Also in California, pure comparative negligence exists. This means that Gibel can be found partially at fault and her damages can be reduced. For example, on ‘Little Women: LA’ and on Instagram, Gibel occasionally wears high heels. On her Instagram, she promoted a product and wrote in the caption that she’s “always on the go go go.” In another post to promote a product, she says that she eats food that she shouldn’t.
Posts such as these may seem innocent but they can have unexpected consequences. Celebrities should be cautious of this, especially if they plan to be engaged in a lawsuit. (Gibel probably knew she was filing suit months before she approached an attorney). Lastly, in season 6, episode 19, the reality star says that she’s not supposed to talk but does so anyway to argue.
Was Christy Gibel Partially to Blame?
I like Christy Gibel, but if the doctors forbid these types of activities they may argue she is partially at fault for her injuries. Disregarded doctor orders can cost a plaintiff a lot of money. It’s easy to investigate a person who broadcasts their life on national television. In situations like this, it’s wise to consult an experienced attorney early on for guidance on television exposure and posting on social media.
To be fair, Gibel looked and sounded pretty beat up months after the surgery. In season 6, episode 2, the cast members discussed the television personality’s surgical complications and doctor mishaps. Apparently, the surgeons nicked her jugular vein which the cast members say almost cost her life. On her Instagram page, she says that she has “lasting vocal cord damage.”
It’s going to be hard to refute that she had a rough recovery but how much of that is her disregarding doctor orders? I’m willing to bet that both parties will reach a settlement. Still, Gibel shouldn’t expect to get rich off of this. Then again, “rich” is relative. $250,000 would make me very comfortable, even with a bad neck!