Morrison Mahoney partner Adam Mordecai obtained a favorable verdict in a 5 day traumatic brain injury (TBI) case in Cheshire County Superior Court. Plaintiff had asked for $1.69mm and the jury awarded him $43,000.
The parties were involved in a high-speed side-swipe/front-end collision on Route 9 in Chesterfield, NH. Our client swerved across the centerline at roughly 55mph and was clearly at fault, so liability was formally admitted and we contested only damages. Plaintiff claimed to have sustained minor physical injuries, but also claimed to have sustained a permanent TBI with significant symptoms including memory issues, concentration problems, and serious emotional issues. Despite these claimed head injuries, plaintiff returned to the football team for his sophomore year and continued to play for his remaining 3 years at the school. Plaintiff claimed that the TBI had negatively impacted his ability to memorize his playbook and react on the field, but he showed year-to-year improvement. Plaintiff also claimed that his TBI caused him to struggle academically, but his grades did not suffer. Plaintiff argued that this was only because he had doubled down on his studying to compensate.
Medical bills were minimal and totaled approximately $7,000. Plaintiff presented testimony from a neurologist who diagnosed him with a permanent brain injury and from a neuropsychologist who determined that he had cognitive deficits in several domains and a host of emotional deficits as well. The defense did not call an expert to counter these claims, but rather called the plaintiff’s head coach and defensive coordinator, along with the athletic trainer for the football team.
The defense conceded that the plaintiff had sustained most of the alleged physical injuries and a minor concussion, but disputed the notion that he had any persisting or permanent injuries relating to the accident. The case was tried over four days in Cheshire County and the jury deliberated into a fifth day for roughly 5 hours in total before returning a verdict of $43,000 that clearly endorsed the defense’s view of the case. The final pre-suit demand was for the $250,000 policy limit, and plaintiff’s counsel asked the jury to award $1.69mm.