Carolinas Verdicts

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Plaintiff: Prior spinal condition was aggravated by crash

Amount:

$750,000

Type:

Verdict-Plaintiff

State:

South Carolina

Venue:

McCormick County

Court:

McCormick County, Court of Common Pleas

Injury Type(s):

back; neck; other-decreased range of motion; other-aggravation of pre-existing condition

Case Type:

Motor Vehicle – Passenger, Rear-ender, Multiple Vehicle

Case Name:

Samuel Wesley Young v. Dominique Samuel and Claude E. Gable, Jr.,
No. 2016CP3500034

Date:

August 28, 2018

Parties

Plaintiff(s):

Samuel Wesley Young (Male, 75 Years)

Plaintiff Attorney(s):

Davis A. Whitfield-Cargile;
Whitfield-Cargile Law, PLLC;
Brevard,
NC,
for
Samuel Wesley Young

Plaintiff Expert(s):

Carlos Manalich; M.D.; Internal Medicine; Greenwood,
SC called by:
Davis A. Whitfield-Cargile

Defendant(s):

Dominique Samuel, 

Claude E. Gable Jr.

Defense Attorney(s):

J. Austin Hood;
Clawson & Staubes, LLC;
Columbia,
SC,
for
Claude E. Gable Jr. ■ Allyce Bailey;
Turner Padget Graham & Laney P.A.;
Columbia,
SC,
for
Dominique Samuel

Insurer(s):

Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. for Samuel

Facts:

On March 20, 2013, plaintiff Samuel Wesley Young, 75, was a passenger in a vehicle driven by Claude E. Gable, Jr. They were traveling eastbound on U.S. Highway 176 in Columbia when their vehicle was rear-ended by a vehicle driven by Dominique Samuel. Young claimed he injured in neck and back. Young sued Gable and Samuel, claiming they were negligent in the operation of their vehicles. Prior to trial, Gable was dismissed from the case. The case proceeded against Samuel only. Young alleged that Samuel failed to keep a proper lookout. He also argued that Samuel failed to maintain a safe distance. Samuel conceded liability. The case proceeded to trial on injuries and damages.

Injury:

Young was taken by ambulance to a local emergency room. He had X-rays and was discharged. Young claimed he suffered an aggravation of a pre-existing ankylosing spondylitis condition. Ankylosing spondylitis is a form of arthritis that primarily affects the spine and causes inflammation of the spinal joints. Young alleged that he suffered injuries which severely limited his ability to engage in the daily activities he enjoyed before the accident, such as walking his hunting dogs and working actively on his farm. According to Young, most of his mobility prior to the accident was in his upper body because of his pre-existing spinal condition. However, he argued that he was unable to use his upper body for mobility after the accident and his mobility is severely limited. Young’s treating doctor opined the accident aggravated Young’s pre-existing condition. Prior to trial, Young dismissed all claims for economic damages. Young sought only to recover damages for past and future pain and suffering. The defense argued that Young did not suffer an aggravation of his pre-existing condition to the extent he was claiming. The defense argued that Young’s pre-existing ankylosing spondylitis condition began when he was 13 years old. The defense pointed out that Young’s ankylosing spondylitis condition required him to wear leg braces since the age of 13 to assist in walking. The defense argued that Young already had a poor quality of life prior to the accident due to his condition.

Result:

The jury determined that Young’s damages totaled $750,000.

Trial Information:

Judge:

Alison Renee Lee

Trial Length:

2
 days

Trial Deliberations:

2
 hours

Editor’s Comment:

This report is based on information that was provided by plaintiff’s counsel and Samuel’s counsel. Gable’s counsel was not asked to contribute.