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Woman’s arm broken by deployed airbag while in auto accident – $599,000 settlement

Virginia Lawyers Weekly//March 2, 2020

Woman’s arm broken by deployed airbag while in auto accident – $599,000 settlement

Virginia Lawyers Weekly//March 2, 2020

Plaintiff was a passenger in a vehicle operated by her son on Mer­cury Boulevard in Hampton. Defendant made a U-turn and failed to yield the right of way to the approaching vehicle. The impact caused the airbags in plaintiff’s vehicle to deploy. The airbags struck plaintiff’s arm and caused a comminuted fracture of her right humerus, which contused the right radial nerve and resulted in a complete radial nerve palsy of plaintiff’s dominant hand.

Plaintiff required admission to Riverside Hospital for internal fixation of the fracture. The radial nerve palsy of plaintiff’s dom­inant hand persisted for approximately six months before plain­tiff regained functional use of the right hand with persistent pain. Plaintiff was left with hardware in her arm, scars and loss of func­tion of the right hand. There was a dispute between the physicians as to the nature and extent of plaintiff’s permanent disability.

Suit was filed in Hampton Circuit Court due to a denial of liability by defendant. The matter was mediated by Judge Pamela Baskervill of the McCammon Group. While it did not settle at mediation, with Judge Baskervill’s continued assistance, the matter settled a few weeks before trial.


Type of action: Personal injury – motor vehicle

Injuries alleged: Fractured humerus with internal fixation; radial nerve palsy

Name of case: Niwana Jenkins v. Christina L. Pasko

Court: Hampton Circuit Court

Case no.: CL17-2844

Name of mediator: Hon. Pamela S. Baskervill (Ret.)

Date resolved: Sept. 3, 2019

Special damages: $84,917.62 – Medical bills related to surgery and physical therapy

Verdict or settlement: Settlement

Amount: $599,000

Attorney for plaintiff: Thomas A. Fitzgerald II, Norfolk

Attorneys for defendant: Michael Smith, Norfolk

Plaintiff’s experts: Dr. Jacob Lantry, Riverside Orthopedics & Sports Medicine; Dr. John McGuigan, Sentara Hand Surgery; Dr. Felix Kirven, Norfolk

Defendant’s experts: Dr. Chad Manke, Atlantic Orthopaedic Specialists

Insurance carrier: State Farm Fire and Casualty Company

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