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Defense Verdict of No Damages in Admitted Liability Auto Accident Case.

Kendra Therrell | November 30, 2015

Kendra Therrell obtained a total defense verdict in an admitted liability rear-end motor vehicle accident. This moderate impact accident happened during rush hour on a major roadway. Plaintiff treated at an emergency room with complaints of neck and left shoulder/arm pain. Treatment was consistent and frequent within the first few weeks, including with an orthopedic surgeon and a neurosurgeon. She reported extreme, debilitating pain which limited all activities of daily living. The neurosurgeon recommended a cervical fusion within 3 weeks of the accident because of the extreme radicular complaints, although the MRI study raised questions of causation. Within 3 months of the car accident, a well respected local surgeon performed a shoulder arthroscopy for a suspected rotator cuff tear, but the surgery failed to resolve the complaints. Four months later Plaintiff underwent a single level cervical fusion, which resolves the radicular complaints but not the shoulder/upper arm complaints. For the next 2 years, Plaintiff continued treatment for extreme pain, including acupuncture, pain management, and use of a TENS unit. Her total past medical bills exceeded $145,000, and she asked for damages in the “mid six figures.”

Plaintiff had filed a Proposal for Settlement in the amount of $250,000, and had refused a defense offer of $100,000. Plaintiff was tearful during most of the trial and wore her TENS unit to court each day. (After the jury retired to deliberate, defense counsel found it interesting to watch Plaintiff remove the TENS unit and stow it neatly in her bag.) A vigorous investigation into Plaintiff’s prior medical treatment turned up a prior cervical MRI from 3 years before the crash with complaints of cervical discomfort, which Plaintiff failed to recall at all until confronted with the information by the defense. The jury rejected Plaintiff’s claims and returned a $0 verdict, in favor of our client.

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