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Trey Hawthorne and Lee Stewart obtained a defense verdict for their client in a disputed liability parking lot accident

Trey Hawthorne and Lee Stewart obtained a defense verdict for their client in a disputed liability parking lot accident. There were various witnesses, and both sides agreed both cars were moving at a slow speed. Despite that fact, both vehicles were totaled. The plaintiff’s air bags also deployed. The plaintiff claimed numerous injuries, including knee pain, low back pain, neck pain, mouth and face pain, and increased anxiety and panic attacks. The most significant injury she was claiming were the issues with her mouth, claiming that she had to have her remaining lower teeth removed and a lower denture fitted as a result of this accident. She claimed these problems were caused by the airbag hitting her in the face, which knocked her lower teeth loose. She then claimed that problems with that lower denture caused her to have difficulty talking, which increased her anxiety and eventually resulted in her having panic attacks that caused her to have to take an early retirement. While it was agreed that at least one lower tooth was loose or cracked after the accident, the defendant argued there was no evidence as to the cause of that tooth being loose or cracked, and that the problems with the plaintiff’s other lower teeth were not related to the accident. In addition to her medical bills, the plaintiff claimed to have missed 48 days of work as a result of the accident, resulting in lost wages of more than $11,000. As a result of her retirement, she further claimed to have lost income of approximately $75,000 and incurred approximately $25,000 in additional health insurance premiums. The defense put forth arguments that, at a minimum, the plaintiff contributed to the accident, and that it was possible she was at fault for the accident. While the plaintiff admitted to having preexisting issues with anxiety and panic attacks, she claimed the accident had made them worse. The defendant introduced evidence showing the plaintiff was suffering from increased anxiety and panic attacks several months before the accident, had knee pain several years before the accident, and had been prescribed pain medication for back pain only five days before the accident. The defendant also relied on the lack of evidence connecting the plaintiff’s claimed injuries to the accident. The plaintiff elicited testimony from two doctors, a chiropractor and an internal medicine doctor. However, she did not have any testimony from a neurologist or mental health professional in support of her claimed psychological injuries, and she did not call her dentist or oral surgeon to testify in support of her claims related to her teeth. Instead, testimony from the plaintiff’s primary care doctor was introduced in support of these claims. After a three day trial, the jury returned a verdict for the defendant.

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