June 15, 2023. Partner Jay Eidex won at trial this week in the State Court of Gwinnett County. The suit arose out of a motor vehicle accident that occurred on April 11, 2018 on GA 316 in Gwinnett County. Plaintiff alleged that the defendant made an improper lane change colliding into the Plaintiff’s car and forcing his vehicle into the guardrail. The defendant was cited for an improper lane change and negligence in this case was admitted at trial.
The Plaintiff made complaints of neck pain at the scene of the accident but refused EMS treatment/transport. He first sought treatment 5 days later with his primary care doctor where he complained of neck and back pain. He then underwent physical therapy and pain management including lumbar and cervical epidural steroid injections and radiofrequency ablations. He received a surgical recommendation and second opinion that reinforced the surgical recommendation. His medical bills totaled approximately $125,000 and surgical recommendation/estimate for a two level lumbar fusion that totaled approximately $270,000 making the total claimed damages approximately $395,000.
At trial, the plaintiff presented testimony from Dr. Raymond Walkup, a neurosurgeon who testified that the Plaintiff did have severe degeneration at multiple levels, but had no prior complaints of pain. He concluded that the that the injury at L5-S1 which would require surgery was aggravated by the motor vehicle collision. The Plaintiff also presented Dr. Jeffrey Grossman, a Pain Management Doctor who testified live at trial that the Plaintiff’s complaints of pain were a direct result of the motor vehicle accident. Further he testified that the epidural steroid injections and nerve ablations that he performed on the Plaintiff were were made necessary by the accident. Plaintiff also presented who presented his wife and several other before and after witnesses.
Mr. Eidex presented Dr. Barry Jeffries, a neuroradiologist. Dr. Jeffries testified that there were significant degenerative changes to the Plaintiff’s lumbar and thoracic spine and that the changes represented an arthritic process. He further testified that there was no evidence of an acute injury that would explain a change in symptoms.
In closing, Plaintiff’s counsel asked the jury to return a verdict that included past medical bills, the surgical estimate and pain and suffering for a total award of $1.5-$3 million dollars. Mr. Eidex asked the jury to award a the medical bills through December 2019 which was the date the surgery had been recommended but not performed. That amounted to approximately $56,179.40 plus $10,000 in pain and suffering for a total award of $64,179.40. The Jury deliberated for approximately 2 hours before returning a verdict in favor of the Plaintiff in the amount of $76,179.40, well less than the Plaintiff’s claimed medical bills.
Prior to trial Plaintiff had filed an Offer of Settlement in the amount of $250,000 and never presented a demand under that amount.
The Case is Andres Rodriguez vs. Van Marco Galleno-Jenosa, State Court of Gwinnett County CAFN 20-C-01211-S2.
Read more about Partner Jay Eidex here.