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Home / Verdicts & Settlements / Man underwent spinal discectomy after auto accident — $400,000 verdict

Man underwent spinal discectomy after auto accident — $400,000 verdict

Type of action: Auto accident

Injuries alleged: Right C4-7 anterior cervical discectomy and fusion

Name of case: Cifuentes v. Rodriguez

Court: Hampton Circuit Court

Case no.: CL18-2785

Tried before: Jury

Name of judge or mediator: Judge Michael A. Gaten

Date resolved: 6/29/2022

Special damages: $93,283.53

Demand: $300,000

Offer: $12,723

Verdict or settlement: Verdict

Amount: $400,000

Attorney for plaintiff (and city): Elizabeth K. Ufkes, Virginia Beach


Description of case: Plaintiff was involved in a rear-end motor vehicle collision on March 11, 2017, in Hampton with significant property damage. Plaintiff treated three days post-accident with Portsmouth Naval Medical Center and an MRI revealed degenerative changes in his cervical spine. Plaintiff completed four months of physical therapy with The Therapy Network and acupuncture through Portsmouth Naval Medical Center. Following an 18-month gap in treatment, plaintiff underwent a right C4-7 anterior cervical discectomy and fusion in October 2019 with Dr. James J. Brennan. Dr. Brennan testified that the trauma from the accident aggravated the pre-existing degenerative changes in plaintiff’s cervical spine and that the surgery was related. Defense expert Adrian T. Baddar, MD conducted a Rule 4:10 exam and testified that the plaintiff suffered a strain injury to his neck in this accident and that plaintiff’s accident-related symptoms resolved by the conclusion of physical therapy. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiff and awarded $400,000.

Elizabeth K. Ufkes, plaintiff’s counsel, provided case information. [022-T-114]