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Driver injured on Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel – $1.5M Verdict

Virginia Lawyers Weekly//October 31, 2016

Driver injured on Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel – $1.5M Verdict

Virginia Lawyers Weekly//October 31, 2016

The plaintiff was stopped behind a trac­tor-trailer, which was also stopped for traf­fic at the approach to the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel at ap­proximately 10 p.m. on Aug. 20, 2013. The defendant did not see the stopped vehicle and struck it from be­hind at approximately 60 MPH. Despite se­vere damage to her vehicle, the defen­dant was able to exit her vehicle and wait on the shoulder for rescue to arrive. The plaintiff was trans­ported to Riverside Regional Medical Center with severe abdominal pain, but initial evalua­tion on the day of the collision only re­vealed severe bruising and associated soft tissue injuries. The plaintiff was admitted to Riverside Regional Medi­cal Center for evaluation on the night of the collision. Further evaluation the next day revealed that the plaintiff had suffered metatarsal fractures of the third and fourth toes of her left foot. After further evaluation, the plaintiff was discharged two days following the collision in a walking boot with severe bruising of the entire left side of her body. The plaintiff returned to emer­gency facilities twice over the two weeks with continued abdominal pain, but the pain eventually resolved.

The plaintiff’s also sought follow up care for her orthopedic injuries to her left foot. While the fractures healed, the pain related to same did not resolve with conservative care. The plaintiff’s treating orthopedist eventu­ally referred her to Dr. Robyn Vargo, who shortened the plaintiff’s second and third toes in an attempt to resolve her mid-foot pain. While the procedure reduced the plaintiff’s foot pain, it did not eliminate the pain. It is anticipated that plaintiff will undergo a mid-foot fusion in the future.

At the time of the 2013 collision, plaintiff was treating for cervical inju­ries caused by a motor vehicle col­lision in 2012. While she had sur­gery to her cervical spine following the subject 2013 collision, her physician was unwilling to relate that surgery to the 2013 collision. However, the plaintiff continued to suffer neck pain post-surgery and was diagnosed with occipital neu­ralgia related to the 2013 collision.

The plaintiff’s medical bills at the time of trial totaled $63,665.00 with anticipated future medicals of $44,000.00. No lost wage claim was submitted.

Plaintiff rejected all settlement offers and decided to present her case to a jury.

Trial commenced on Oct. 4, 2016 in Hampton Circuit Court on an admission of liability. After two days of trial, the jury was out ap­proximately two hours before re­turning a verdict in the amount of $1,500,000.00 in favor of the plain­tiff. There was sufficient insurance coverage available to satisfy the judgment.


Type of action: Motor Vehicle Collision

Injuries alleged: Plain­tiff suffered metatarsal fractures and lis franc injury of the left foot. Permanent foot pain which was not relieved by surgery. Subsequent to the collision plaintiff also developed occipital neuralgia.

Name of case: Chandler v. Allen

Court: Hampton Circuit Court

Case no.: Cl15-941

Tried before: Jury

Name of judge: Wilford Taylor

Date resolved: Oct. 5, 2016

Special damages: Current medical damages of $63,665.00. Future medical damages of $44,000.00 for fusion sur­gery to mid-foot caused by the lis franc injury.

Demand: $2,000,000

Offer: $310,204.67

Verdict or settlement: Verdict

Amount: $1,500,000

Attorneys for plaintiff: Richard Aufenger III, Nor­folk; Thomas A. Fitzgerald II, Newport News

Plaintiff’s experts: Dr. Robyn Vargo, D.O., Orthopedic Surgeon

Defendant’s experts: Dr. Daniel Munn, M.D., General Surgeon

Insurance carrier: State Farm

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