Liability was stipulated in this case in which the 48 year-old driver’s vehicle was struck in the rear by the defendant. The plaintiff contended that he sustained herniations at C3-4 and C4-5 that were confirmed by MRI and which will cause permanent radiating pain and weakness.
The evidence disclosed that the plaintiff was disabled from work at the time of the accident because of previously sustained lumbar injuries. The evidence revealed that the plaintiff was attending classes to receive retraining to enable him to return to the work force at the time of the subject accident. The plaintiff contended that the cervical herniations sustained in this accident delayed his return for some time. The plaintiff did not pursue future income claims.
The plaintiff maintained that because of the subject herniations, he required some eight epidural block injections. The plaintiff’s orthopedist maintained that surgery may well be necessary in the future.
The defendant denied that the plaintiff sustained herniations in the subject accident and maintained that any cervical complaints stemmed from the prior accident.
The plaintiff countered that an MRI taken after the prior accident, and several years before the subject accident, disclosed no cervical herniation. The plaintiff maintained that he had suffered only temporary soft tissue cervical injuries in the prior accident, and after short term treatment, did not require further cervical treatment until after the subject accident occurred.
The defendant had $250,000 in coverage. The plaintiff demanded the policy limits and the defendant offered $15,000.
The jury awarded $400,000.
The plaintiff pursued a bad faith Rova Farms claim and the case subsequently settled for $495,000, including pre-judgment interest.
D.J. vs. Lang Docket No.: MON-L-862-00; Judge William Gilroy
Attorney for plaintiff: Charles A. Cerussi of Law Offices of Charles A. Cerussi, P.C. in Red Bank, New Jersey and Manhattan.