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Plaintiff Claims $2.25M in Damages for Auto Rear-Ender “Not Too Much.” Jury Disagrees, Awards $11,000

June 12, 2023

Johnson & Bell Shareholder, Edward W. Hearn, and Associate Attorney, Catherine Breitweiser-Hurst, successfully resolved a nine-year-old traffic incident after a three-day jury trial in Lake County, Indiana.  In this case, Johnson & Bell’s client had rear-ended the plaintiff’s car in an auto accident that happened in 2014.  Plaintiff claimed to have seriously injured his neck and back in the accident. Plaintiff’s pain management doctor reviewed plaintiff’s medical records and performed an independent medical examination of the plaintiff in 2022.  The pain management doctor opined that plaintiff seriously injured his neck and back in the accident and that any and all treatment from 2014 through present day was a result of the accident.  Moreover, the pain management doctor stated that plaintiff would need future treatment because of the 2014 accident.  Defense countered with an acknowledgement that the auto accident did produce some injury to plaintiff, but primarily aggravated pre-existing conditions, which was confirmed by defense’s retained orthopedic expert.

At closing, plaintiff’s attorney told the jury that the plaintiff incurred $135,000 in medical damages so far and is expected to incur $375,000 for future medical treatment.  The attorney then claimed that damages of “… $750,000 is too low.  Double or triple that is not too much” -- essentially asking the jury to award in excess of $2.25M. The jury proved that $750,000 or multiples of that amount were too much and awarded the plaintiff $11,107.89.


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