GMR Wins Philadephia Jury Trial on Factual Cause after Arbitration Award in Plaintiff’s Favor

GMR Partner Jeff Tenthoff prevailed again in Philadelphia. In the early morning of October 15, 2020, Jeff’s client’s car rear-ended Plaintiff’s vehicle, which had stopped at a stop sign while each party was on their way to work. Per Jeff’s client, this was a minor rear-end accident that occurred after both vehicles began moving forward after coming to a complete stop at the stop sign, with Plaintiff stopping her vehicle unexpectedly a second time.  No police were called to the scene, and the damage consisted of scuffs and minor dents in the respective bumpers.  The arbitration panel awarded over $18,000, and the defense appealed. 

At trial, Plaintiff testified to a significant rear-end impact that required her to present to the ER and undergo months of physical therapy.  Jeff argued that the 11-day delay in presenting to the emergency room and the lack of complaints of neck pain at that time call into question Plaintiff’s expert, who testified to a permanent neck injury as a result of this minor accident.  Despite Plaintiff’s mother testifying to the impact the injuries had on Plaintiff, Mr. Tenthoff argued that the delay in presentation of symptoms coupled with the lack of any missed time from her physically demanding work as a housekeeping supervisor belied any serious impairment of a body function.  The jury deliberated for less than an hour before returning a defense verdict as to factual cause without ever considering the issue of a serious impairment.