Morrison Mahoney Partners Douglas Price and Bridget Lopez recently obtained a defense verdict after a four day trial in Springfield Superior Court stemming from a rear end car accident. Plaintiff claimed injuries to his neck and back, specifically a lumbar disc injury which resulted in surgery. Plaintiff had another accident the previous year with similar complaints and had a recommendation for lumbar surgery. However, he treated conservatively and claimed he was asymptomatic prior to the accident. Plaintiff’s medical expert, who was his treating orthopedist, opined that the subject accident exacerbated his back condition necessitating the surgery.
We impeached plaintiff’s testimony with evidence in his medical records reflecting a pattern of lumbar complaints leading up to the subject accident. We also utilized an orthopedic surgeon expert who compared radiological imaging from before and after the accident, and opined that plaintiff suffered no new or worsening injury to his spine.
Notwithstanding the questionable damages, the case was ultimately won on liability. Although a rear end accident, we argued that the plaintiff stopped short for no reason, causing the collision. After less than 20 minutes of deliberating, the jury returned a verdict for the defense, finding that our insured driver was not negligent.