Type of Action — Negligence
Type of Injury — Closed head injury
Name of Case — Conant v. Velaszquez
Court / Case No. — Hampton Circuit Court / Law No. 97-36518
Judge or Jury — Judge
Name of Judge — William Andrews
Special Damages — $19,867.49 in current medical bills; $150,000 in past lost wages; $4,365.72 per year in lifetime cost of ongoing future pharmaceutical needs; and disputed future lost earning capacity
Awarded / Settled — Awarded
Amount — $1.1 million
Plaintiff’s Attorney — George T. Albiston, Norfolk
Plaintiff’s Experts — Dr. Donald Mingione, Charles DeMark and Gregory Kersh, DC
Highest Offer — $25,000
Lowest Demand — $750,000
Other Useful Information — The plaintiff was struck head-on by the defendant. The defendant’s negligence was not at issue.
The plaintiff was a meteorologist for the U.S. Air Force when injured. He noticed a gradually diminishing level of executive function and was diagnosed about 14 months after the accident with a mild closed-head injury. He was treated by both civilian and military doctors with some considerable gaps in treatment.
While the plaintiff scored in the superior range in several neuropsychological tests of intellectual ability, the expert testimony showed that his ability to obtain and collage data from a variety of sources and come to a reasoned conclusion was impaired by the accident. This loss of executive function arguably removed him from senior-management positions and formed a basis for the loss of future earning capacity, as opined by Charles DeMark.
The difficulty in this case was establishing the nature of the injury given the plaintiff’s extremely high I.Q. and above-average or superior performance on all but one area of the neuropsychological testing.[02-T-165]