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Plaintiff underwent fusion a month after collision

Amount:

$382,000

Type:

Verdict-Plaintiff

State:

Texas

Venue:

Harris County

Court:

Harris County District Court, 157th

Injury Type(s):

back-fusion; lumbar
back-herniated disc(herniated disc at L4-5); lumbar(herniated disc at L4-5)
back-herniated disc(herniated disc at L5-S1); lumbar(herniated disc at L5-S1)
other-epidural injections

Case Type:

Motor Vehicle – Rear-ender

Case Name:

J.B. McKinney v. Brooke Caravela,
No. 2011-55512

Date:

August 20, 2013

Parties

Plaintiff(s):

J.B. McKinney (Male, 33 Years)

Plaintiff Attorney(s):

Frank B. Daniel;
Essmyer & Daniel;
Houston,
TX,
for
J.B. McKinney

Defendant(s):

Brooke Caravela

Defense Attorney(s):

Jeff A. Fanaff;
Acosta, Shrode & Soule;
Houston,
TX,
for
Brooke Caravela

Defendent Expert(s):

Kelley Adamson;
Accident Investigation & Reconstruction/ Failure Analysis/Product Liability;
College Station,
TX called by
Jeff A. Fanaff ■ Thomas Greider;
Orthopedics;
Houston,
TX called by
Jeff A. Fanaff

Insurer(s):

Farmers Insurance Co.

Facts:

On Feb. 26, 2011, plaintiff J.B. McKinney, 33, a welder, was driving a pickup truck east on FM 1960 at the intersection with Deerbrook Park Boulevard in Houston when he was involved in a collision with a car driven by Brooke Caravela. McKinney sued Caravela, claiming he was slowing for a yellow light when Caravela failed to keep a proper lookout or control her speed and rear-ended him. Caravela claimed that McKinney unexpectedly came to a complete stop for the yellow light and that she had insufficient time to avoid the collision. The defense accident reconstruction expert testified that McKinney had sufficient time to clear the intersection before the light turned red but failed to do so.

Injury:

McKinney sought emergency room treatment three days after the collision. He claimed herniations at L4-5 and L5-S1. McKInney underwent a two-level, 360-degree fusion one month after the collision. He also received an epidural steroid injection. McKinney‘s treating physician was called to testify as an expert witness but failed to appear for trial. McKinney claimed his injuries have left him unable to run and have seriously limited the range of motion of his back. He also claimed the fusion surgery left significant scars. McKinney sought an unspecified amount for past medical expenses and past and future pain and suffering, physical impairment and disfigurement. Defense counsel disputed the damages, arguing McKinney‘s injuries were a pre-existing condition. Defense counsel argued that McKinney had a laminectomy in 2005 for a previous back injury and had complained to his physician of back pain nine days before the collision. The defense medical expert testified that McKinney would have needed surgery for his pre-existing injury regardless of any injuries sustained in the collision.

Result:

The jury found Caravela negligent and awarded McKinney $382,000.

J.B. $82,000 Personal Injury: Past Medical Cost$40,000 Personal Injury: Past Physical Impairment$150,000 Personal Injury: Future Physical Impairment$75,000 Personal Injury: Past Pain And Suffering$35,000 Personal Injury: Future Pain And Suffering

Trial Information:

Judge:

Randy Wilson

Demand:

$150,000

Offer:

$2,719

Editor’s Comment:

This report is based on information that was provided by plaintiff’s and defense counsel.