Lee Stewart obtained a defense verdict for his client, the defendant, in a suit arising from a disagreement regarding custody of the Plaintiff’s granddaughter, who is also the Defendant’s daughter. On that date of the incident, the Defendant appeared at the Plaintiff’s house, and ultimately, an argument ensued. Though the parties disagree as to exactly how the incident happened, it was undisputed that the Plaintiff was knocked down when she was struck by the door of the truck being driven by the Defendant.
Later on that day, the Plaintiff went to the ER to get checked out. During the course of diagnostic testing, it was revealed she had fluid on her abdomen. She stayed at the hospital for two days, and her discharge diagnosis was “acute renal insufficiency secondary to possible dehydration and NSAID use.” She had also complained of elbow pain, arm pain, and shoulder pain on the date of the incident in question, allegedly as a result of being knocked down by the Defendant’s truck.
Roughly 15 months later, she underwent arthroscopic shoulder surgery. The Plaintiff’s primary care physician, Dr. Cheryl Bazzle of Huntsville, was deposed and related the entire two-day hospital stay and the shoulder surgery to the incident in question.
As a result of the parties’ encounter on the date of this incident, the Defendant was charged with reckless endangerment, and he ultimately pled guilty to a lesser charge of harassment. The guilty plea was admitted as evidence of Defendant’s wrongdoing at trial. The Plaintiff was claiming retail medical bills of approximately $90,000 and a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama lien of almost $12,000. She was also making a lost wage claim of about $3,500.
She alleged negligence and wantonness on the part of the Defendant. Within a couple of months of the trial date, the Defendant’s liability carrier offered its limits of $25,000, which were “fronted” by the Plaintiff’s underinsured motorist carrier.
At trial, the Defendant defended the case on both liability and medical causation. The case was tried for three days in the Circuit Court of Etowah County. The Plaintiff’s attorney requested a verdict of between $107,000 and $182,000 in his closing argument. The jury deliberated for roughly 30 minutes before returning a defense verdict. The Court entered a consistent judgment.