Paul Gambone won a defense verdict for his client recently after a two day jury trial in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. The case involved a motor vehicle accident whereby plaintiff alleged that the defendant caused a collision when the defendant made a left turn in front of the plaintiff. Negligence was disputed. In addition to negligence, a second issue was whether plaintiff breached the Limited Tort threshold by demonstrating a serious impairment of body function. The defense alleged that plaintiff’s medical evidence only showed evidence of an aggravation of pre-existing degenerative issues.
Plaintiff’s medical expert, John Bowden, D.O., opined that plaintiff sustained injuries to her left shoulder,neck and lower back in the accident and treatment included physical therapy, and an injection to her shoulder. The defense medical expert, Michael L. Brooks, M.D., testified that there was no evidence of any acute injury to plaintiff’s spine from the accident, but that there was a pre-existing degenerative issue with plaintiff’s spine. Dr. Brooks testified and showed the jury plaintiff’s MRI imaging studies in great detail which was very persuasive according to the jurors who spoke with counsel after the trial.
The jury apportioned liability 55/45 in favor of the Plaintiff, but also found that plaintiff did not sustain a serious impairment of body function, and therefore the verdict was for $0. Plaintiff declined a modest offer prior to trial and had never reduced the demand from $80,000.