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Cause of girl’s knee injury at issue in rear-ender – $100,000 Verdict

Virginia Lawyers Weekly//November 25, 2018

Cause of girl’s knee injury at issue in rear-ender – $100,000 Verdict

Virginia Lawyers Weekly//November 25, 2018//

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The plaintiff was a 16-year-old high school student who suffered a suspected right patellar dislocation playing softball on April 14, 2014. There was evidence that the plaintiff was back to exercising and playing basketball during the summer of 2014.

On Aug. 11, 2014, the plaintiff was rear-ended on Interstate 81 as she was slowing down in a construction zone. There was significant property damage and she lost consciousness for about one minute. In the ER she had full range of motion and was diagnosed with a concussion. Following the ER she had headaches and bruising on her body. The plaintiff was placed into concussion protocol which mandated no physical activity. She had no noted complaints of pain of her right knee until January 2015 when she started softball practice and her knee began to swell. An MRI taken in early 2015 showed a small meniscus tear which was surgically repaired. The plaintiff had full recovery and no physical therapy.

The medical bills for EMS, the initial ER and three concussion visits totaled $3,629.50. The medical bills for the meniscus injury treatment totaled $26,931.

Prior to suit being filed State Farm offered $5,129.50. One month before trial State Farm increased the offer to $9,629.00.

Defense expert, Dr. William C. Andrews, admitted the ER and three concussion visits were related to the wreck, but opined that the meniscus injury was from the prior softball injury. Plaintiff’s knee surgeon, Dr. James Farmer, related the meniscus tear and surgery to the Aug. 11, 2014 wreck.

The jury deliberated for 50 minutes and arrived at a $100,000 verdict.


Type of action: Auto Accident/Tort

Court: Salem Circuit Court

Name of judge or mediator: Judge David B. Carson

Date resolved: July 12, 2018

Demand: Ad Damnum of $195,000

Offer: $9,269.00

Verdict or settlement: Verdict

Amount: $100,000

Attorney for plaintiff: Colin P. O’Dawe, Norfolk.

Plaintiff’s experts: Dr. James Farmer

Defendant’s experts: Dr. William C. Andrews

Insurance carrier: State Farm

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