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Home / Verdicts & Settlements / Plaintiff suffered injuries when driver failed to brake in slowing traffic — $150,000 verdict

Plaintiff suffered injuries when driver failed to brake in slowing traffic — $150,000 verdict

Type of action: Personal injury

Injuries alleged: Neck and back injuries including non-displaced fracture of C7 vertebrae and interspinous ligamentous sprains at C2-C3, C3-C4 and C4-C5

Name of case: Sullivan v. Penna

Court: Albemarle County Circuit Court

Case no.: CL19-1478

Tried before: Judge

Name of judge or mediator: Judge Cheryl V. Higgins

Date resolved: 3/22/2021

Special damages: $45,000

Offer: $51,000

Verdict or settlement: Verdict

Amount: $150,000

Attorney for plaintiff (and city): Lisa S. Brook, Charlottesville

Description of case: A distracted driver on Interstate 64 was driving 60 miles per hour when he crashed into the back of a Toyota Camry that was slowing for traffic ahead. The 18-year-old plaintiff was a backseat passenger in the Camry. The back of the Camry was crushed with the impact of the crash, and the plaintiff’s body was slammed forward into the seat ahead of him. Plaintiff suffered injuries to his neck and back, including a non-displaced fracture of the facet process in the C7 vertebrae and interspinous ligamentous sprains. He was treated non-surgically with a cervical collar. Plaintiff was not employed and was living with his parents at the time of the crash.

The defense admitted liability and tried the case on damages only. The defendant driver died a year after the crash from causes unrelated to the crash. Plaintiff’s treating doctor at UVa., Dr. Joseph Amalfitano, testified as an expert witness to the extent of plaintiff’s injuries from the crash.