Case News | July 7, 2022

UPDATE: Kelly-Rambo Williams Wins $225,000 Jury Verdict for Client Injured in Motor Vehicle Accident

On April 13, 2022, partner Kelly Rambo-Williams won a $225,000 verdict from a Northampton County jury in favor of an injured plaintiff and his wife. The plaintiff, a 51-year-old man, had been injured in a motor vehicle accident that caused herniated discs in the low back with nerve root compression.

The defendant disputed that the herniated discs were caused by the accident because the plaintiff’s symptoms took several days to develop into throbbing and radiating pain down his leg. Following the accident and his development of symptoms, the plaintiff underwent medical evaluations, diagnostic testing, and treatment, including MRIs, physical therapy, chiropractic, orthopedic, pain management, and spinal injections. The plaintiff was told, however, that his symptoms would persist unless and until he underwent lumbar spine surgery. As of the date of jury trial in April, plaintiff had not yet decided whether to proceed with surgery. He had to limit his treatment over the years following the accident due to his inability to afford medical care for his condition.

Part of the damages plaintiffs claimed were not only for past economic and non-economic damages but also for future damages including costs of future medical care. Attorney Rambo-Williams presented the testimony of a number of expert witnesses, including an orthopedic surgeon and a certified nurse who provided projections of costs for future medical care.

The plaintiffs attempted to settle the case several times over the years before the trial, and made demands within the defendant’s policy limits of $100,000. The defendant, however, refused to offer more than $11,000. Consequently, Attorney Rambo-Williams and her clients decided to proceed with the jury trial.

The trial began on April 11, 2022, and concluded with a verdict in plaintiffs’ favor late in the day on April 13, 2022, in the total amount of $225,000. With delay damages awarded by the Court thereafter, the total judgment against the defendant stood at almost $250,000. This was an excess judgment against the defendant, meaning that it exceeded the $100,000 in automobile liability insurance coverage which the defendant had available.

The Defendant filed post-trial motions, challenging the verdict, which were denied by the trial court. The Defendant ultimately opted not to appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Instead, the insurance company for the Defendant paid the full award, with delay damages, to the Plaintiffs, despite the fact that it exceeded the Defendant’s policy limits.

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