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Driver claimed injuries cause by pre-existing conditions – $343,915 Settlement

Plaintiff suffered serious injuries when she was struck by a driver who failed to yield and broadsided her. There was modest property damage to plaintiff’s car and minimal to defendant’s SUV. The defendant, a college student, at first blamed the wreck on a bus blocking his view and claimed the bus driver waved him out. Eventually this defense was dropped after depositions and requests for admission.

The plaintiff’s medical treatment was extensive though she did not go to emergency room or seek care until days after the wreck. Plaintiff’s orthopedist eventually did an arthroscopic shoulder surgery. Plaintiff had had advanced rheumatoid arthritis and osteo-arthritis for years before the crash. The operation on the partial thickness tear also addressed synovitis and bony anatomical features that were pre-existing. The elbow compression fracture developed late and may have been caused by the use of a dynamic splint as part of post-surgical therapy. Defense counsel argued that plaintiff had significant, symptomatic pre-existing medical conditions which were the cause of her pain and impairments. The defense medical examiner, Dr. John Aldridge, claimed that none of the care was accident related, not even the surgery. The case was settled at a judicial settlement conference within the month before trial.


Type of action: Personal Injury

Injuries alleged: Torn Rotator Cuff, Fractured Elbow, Neck Injury

Name of mediator: Hon. Von L. Piersall (Ret.)

Date resolved: Aug. 21, 2018

Special damages: Over $120,000.00 claimed in medical bills, $16,000.00 in lost wages

Verdict or settlement: Settlement

Amount: $343,915

Attorneys for plaintiff: John M. Cooper and John Baker, Norfolk