The Honorable Thomas E. O’Brien, P.J. Cv. (ret.) of Ocean County settled a motor vehicle accident case for the sum of $1.6 million. The plaintiff, now 65 years of age, was operating a motor vehicle, in her lane of travel, when the defendant, employee and son of a luxury car dealer took a high powered Dodge Viper on the roadway for a test ride. Defendant driver traveled recklessly and at an excessive rate of speed causing his “Viper” to spin out and enter the plaintiff’s lane of travel. Both plaintiff’s Hyundai and defendant’s Viper were totally destroyed. Both drivers were transported to the emergency room with loss of consciousness. Plaintiff remained in the hospital for three (3) days and experienced loss of consciousness for that period of time.
The accident was caught on a local business video camera so at mediation liability was not contested.
Plaintiff suffered neck, back, left hand and elbow and head injuries that were treated at the emergency room. Plaintiff had a pre-existing anterior cervical discectomy and fusion in 2020 involving C4 through C7. Post-accident MRI on 4/17/19 revealed a new HD at C3-4, and an EMG on 8/3/20 affirmed a left C5-6 radiculopathy.
Plaintiff’s orthopedic surgeon opined that a future C3-4 discectomy and fusion would be needed above the pre-existing fusion.
On 7/14/21 plaintiff received an anterior and posterior lumbar discectomy and fusion with cages and screws at L2-3,3-4. Plaintiff had lumbar epidurals, facet injections and wore a brace for 10 months. Plaintiff also suffered a transverse process fracture at L1-2.
Plaintiff had pre-existing migraine headaches from 50 years ago. She has been diagnosed with concussion and post- concussion syndrome with reduced concentration and memory anxiety, depression and adjustment disorder. While the defendant claimed plaintiff’s head injuries were pre-existing, the defense IME neurologist admitted plaintiff suffered a concussion and post traumatic anxiety and needs future counseling.
The plaintiff presented no wage loss claim and assumed a medical lien in the approximate amount of $70,000.00. The plaintiff husband’s per quod claim was included in the settlement.