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The Plaintiff was involved in a rearend collision causing significant damage to the defendant’s vehicle, but fairly minor damage to the Plaintiff’s vehicle. As a result of the impact, the Plaintiff suffered a severe nerve injury to her upper and lower extremities, ataxia, and severe physical deconditioning. After years of failed conservative treatment, she began treating with a pain management specialist, Dr. Dmitri Souza, who recommended and surgically placed neuromodulation stimulators in each leg to address the nerve injury. The stimulators reduced the severity of the pain but was never able to eliminate it.
Dr. Souza was not only the treating physician, but also served as the medical expert on behalf of the Plaintiff. He opined that her injuries were caused by the collision, they were permanent in nature, her recovery was unlikely, and she will require future treatment.
State Farm admitted liability, but strongly defended the case by arguing that the impact was minor in nature and could not have possibly caused the Plaintiff’s injuries and focused on the fact that there were no objective findings on the nerve study. Defense hired Lisa Kurtz, M.D. to defend the case.
In terms of damages, the Plaintiff claimed economic damages for her past and future medical expenses, lost earning capacity as she was no longer able to work as a nurse, and out of pocket expenses. It was Plaintiff’s position that the cap on non-economic damages did not apply in this case. The issue was briefed with the Court, but the case settled prior to the Court issuing its ruling.
The parties attempted to privately mediate the case without success. The case settled for $825,000.00 a week prior to trial.