Lee Stewart obtained a defense verdict for his client in a disputed liability motor vehicle accident. Though the parties disagreed as to when, where, and exactly how the accident happened, they both agreed that the front of the Defendant’s vehicle made contact with rear of the Plaintiff’s vehicle on Allison Bonnett Memorial Drive in Hueytown.
After the accident, the Plaintiff received extensive treatment for neck and back pain, ultimately undergoing two cervical fusions, the first of which was three months after the accident. The Plaintiff had treated for neck and back pain before the accident, though she either denied or downplayed this during her testimony both at deposition and at trial. She had not been considered a surgical candidate prior to the accident. Also, she underwent two additional back surgeries (one in her thoracic spine and one in her lumbar spine) roughly three years after the accident and six months before trial.
The Plaintiff’s neurosurgeon, Dr. Daniel Harmon, was deposed in the case. He testified that, based upon the Plaintiff’s history provided to him, the cervical fusions he performed were proximately caused by the accident in question. However, he also testified that it was his understanding that the Plaintiff had not treated for neck pain in the past. The Plaintiff claimed retail medical bills in excess of $200,000. However, she was covered by AARP Medicare, which was asserting a subrogation interest of $38,061.25.
The Defendant, Sandra Dickerson, defended the case on both liability and medical causation.
The case was tried for three days in the Bessemer division of Jefferson County. Underwood’s attorney requested a verdict of $75,000 during closing argument, which was the total amount of available insurance coverage. The jury deliberated for approximately 30 minutes before returning a defense verdict. The Court entered a consistent judgment.