Plaintiff was a back-seat passenger traveling with her family in Virginia Beach for an elite-level softball tournament. Defendant, a business owner driving a company vehicle, failed to brake when the traffic slowed due to upcoming construction on westbound Interstate 264 and rear-ended two vehicles at 70 miles per hour. The huge impact pinned the 15-year-old plaintiff in the backseat of the vehicle. Emergency crews extracted her from the wreckage.
Plaintiff spent over a week in the hospital to treat her extensive injuries. The force of the wreck broke multiple bones in plaintiff’s pelvis. Emergency surgery was required and an external fixator was inserted with rods protruding from both hips. Plaintiff wore the hardware for two months before she was able to have it surgically removed. Raised keloid scars remain at the point where the hardware entered her body. Plaintiff also suffered broken bones in her back and face, as well as renal and perineal lacerations. A plaintiff’s side IME doctor opined that her injuries are permanent – 15 percent permanent impairment rating to her whole body. She faces future arthritis and will likely continue to walk with a limp when over-exerted.
Plaintiff missed a semester of her junior year of high school. A potential college softball scholarship and the dream of playing collegiately were lost due to the crash. Plaintiff’s family reconfigured their home because of plaintiff’s inability to navigate stairs for months following the wreck.
The defense was left with few arguments. The young woman was doing well in college after a good recovery, given the extensive injuries. The case settled at mediation two months prior to trial.
Type of action: Personal Injury, Auto Accident
Court: Virginia Beach Circuit Court
Tried before: Mediation
Name of judge or mediator: Hon. (retired) F. Bradford Stillman
Date resolved: March 13, 2018
Special damages: $137,000
Verdict or settlement: Settlement
Attorneys for plaintiff: John M. Cooper, Michael O. Snellings and John G. Baker, Norfolk