Type of Action — Negligence
Type of Injuries — Injuries to the lumbar and thoracic discs
Name of Case — Confidential
Court — City of Richmond Circuit Court
Judge or Jury — Jury
Special Damages — $61,296 in medical bills and projected future medical expenses of $37,000
Plaintiff’s Expert — Dr. Donlin Long, neurosurgeon, Baltimore, Md.
Damages Awarded / Settled — Awarded
Amount — $250,000
Highest Offer — Before mediation, the highest offer was $25,000. The parties were unable to settle the case at mediation, but they did arrive at a high-low agreement.
Plaintiff’s Attorney — Irvin V. Cantor, Richmond
Other Useful Information — The plaintiff, a 57-year-old female, suffered back injuries while sitting as a passenger in a vehicle that was involved in a three-car collision at a stoplight. The plaintiff’s vehicle was struck by a vehicle that had been rear-ended by the defendant’s vehicle.
At impact, the plaintiff was reaching into her purse, which was situated at her feet. Immediately after the impact, the plaintiff felt pain in her back. She was diagnosed with an L3-4 disc herniation, among other injuries. About 16 months after the crash, the plaintiff underwent discectomy and laminectomy surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.
The property damage to the plaintiff’s vehicle was negligible, consisting of only a paint transfer on her bumper.
About six weeks before the crash, the plaintiff had seen her family physician with complaints of lower-back pain. At trial, the defense concentrated on these issues, arguing that the plaintiff’s injuries were not caused by the crash.
The testimony of the plaintiff, a former college professor at VCU, her lay witnesses and her neurosurgeon made it clear that the plaintiff’s substantial and painful injuries were most likely caused by the accident.
The jury deliberated for about one hour before rendering its verdict. The judgment has been paid to the plaintiff.[02-T-50]