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Jury Returns Verdict for Reasonable Treatment Only and Well Below the Longstanding Pre-Trial Settlement Offer

Posted on May 13, 2024 in Results

Following a 4 day jury trial in Bartow County, Rakhi McNeill and Katie Rouse secured a verdict for their client less than the pre-trial offer.   The case was an admitted fault, rear-end accident resulting in moderate property damage to the involved vehicles.  Plaintiff sought treatment at the emergency room within 24 hours of the accident.  After being discharged from the ER, plaintiff sought treatment with a chiropractor before being referred for pain management.  Plaintiff’s treating physician noted a disc injury to the lumbar spine for which plaintiff underwent multiple types of injections and a percutaneous discectomy.  The past medical specials were $240,698.20.  Plaintiff also retained a life care planner and neurosurgeon who testified that plaintiff would need $232,000 in future treatment due to her lumbar pain returning within 2 years of her last treatment date.  The defense retained a physiatrist as their causation expert and a billing expert.  The defense position on causation was that plaintiff did not sustain an injury to the disc in her lumbar spine and while plaintiff’s injection treatment was reasonable, the percutaneous discectomy was not reasonable and necessary.  The doctor also testified that the strain type injury that plaintiff sustained resolved by the date of her last treatment.  The defense billing expert testified that the charges for plaintiff’s treatment with the pain management doctor were not reasonable due to improper coding and inflated charges from the ambulatory surgery center.   The plaintiff asked the jury to award almost $1,000,000.  The defendant asked the jury to award the reasonable treatment at his expert’s rate of reasonable charge plus pain and suffering for 15 months of treatment.   After deliberating for approximately an hour, the jury returned with a verdict of $132,000, which was less than the $150,000 pre-trial offer.