Plaintiff, a 41 year old U.S. Post Office worker (operator), and his wife, a 34 year old office manager (passenger), were the occupants of a motor vehicle that was struck in the rear by the defendants’ vehicle. Plaintiff’s operator’s motion for summary judgment on the issue of liability was granted. Thereafter, the cases were consolidated for joint trial.
Plaintiff operator sustained injuries to his cervical spine and bilateral shoulders. Plaintiff operator underwent a course of conservative therapy and one series of cervical spine epidural injections. Plaintiff operator eventually underwent an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion at his C5/6 level. Following the motor vehicle crash plaintiff operator returned to work but unable to return to work following his cervical spine surgery. Plaintiff passenger sustained injuries to her right wrist and lumbar spine. Plaintiff passenger underwent an arthroscopy to her wrist and ultimately underwent a percutaneous discectomy to her lumbar spine. Plaintiff passenger did not miss any time from work following the accident. Defendant’s claimed the impact was light and could not have caused the injuries claimed by the plaintiff. Defendants claimed that plaintiff operator’s injuries to his cervical spine were pre-existing, degenerative in nature, and unrelated to his motor vehicle accident. Defendant’s claimed plaintiff passenger’s wrist injury completely resolved and she made a full recovery. In addition, the defendant’s claimed plaintiff passenger’s lumbar spine injury was unrelated to the accident and was degenerative and pre-existing.
Judd F. Kleeger, partner, settled this matter prior to trial for $3,750,000. More specifically, plaintiff operator’s case settled for $3,250,000 and plaintiff passenger’s case settled for $500,000. The identities of the parties are withheld pursuant to a confidentiality agreement.