Plaintiff, a 70-year-old man, was a restrained driver of a Jeep Wrangler traveling north on Interstate 95 near Fredericksburg when he was rear-ended by a company pickup truck hauling a recreational boat. Plaintiff was pinned in his seat by the steering column; it took nearly an hour for the rescue workers to extricate him. Plaintiff sustained many injuries, including multiple spinal fractures, multiple rib fractures, brain injury and epidural hemorrhage. Plaintiff’s economic damages included past medical expenses, a future life care plan and home renovation costs to accommodate the needs of a wheelchair with ramps, handicapped accessible bathrooms, kitchen, safe exits, etc.
The driver admitted negligence shortly before mediation. Plaintiff’s negligent entrustment claims against the driver’s employer were dismissed by motion by the trial court. Defense contested the extent of future care needs and had its own home renovation estimate. Plaintiff initially reached a mediated settlement with the driver, and then an additional settlement was negotiated with a medical treatment facility where plaintiff received treatment after discharge from the emergency department. Plaintiff alleged that he was improperly turned in his clamshell brace, thereby exacerbating the extent of his injuries. The medical facility contested liability and causation.[19-T-134]
Type of action: Automobile collision and medical negligence
Injuries alleged: Paraplegia, spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury
Name of mediator: Hon. Robert L. Harris (Ret.)
Date resolved: July 30, 2019
Verdict or settlement: Settlement
Attorneys for plaintiff: Patrick Regan, Amy Griggs and Chris Regan, Washington, D.C.