GMR Partner Jillian Vukson obtained another defense verdict in her third post-COVID trial. During the accident in question, Jillian’s client had stopped behind the vehicle in which the plaintiff was a passenger. Jillian’s client mistakenly believed the traffic light had turned green, and she stepped on the gas pedal, moving forward and making contact with the back bumper of the plaintiff’s vehicle. Jillian stipulated to liability at trial and defended the case on causation and damages.
At trial, the plaintiff alleged injuries to his neck, back, and left shoulder, including post-traumatic sprains and strains to his cervical and thoracic spines and left shoulder. Plaintiff’s expert opined that the plaintiff’s prognosis for recovery was guarded and that he continued to suffer from neck and left shoulder pain, which affected his daily life and activities. He related all of the plaintiff’s injuries to the present accident, noting that plaintiff did not have any prior history of traumatic injury to his neck, back, or left shoulder.
Jillian successfully defended the case, arguing that the plaintiff’s alleged injuries were not caused by the minor accident, which resulted in no damage or repairs to either vehicle. She asserted that there was no objective evidence of an injury supporting the plaintiff’s claims. She presented an expert who testified that the plaintiff’s diagnostic studies, x-rays of the neck, showed only degenerative and arthritic changes unrelated to the accident. Her expert further testified that the plaintiff’s physical exam and orthopedic testing did not reveal any objective evidence of injury to support the plaintiff’s completely subjective complaints of pain.
Following a three-day trial before the Honorable Michelle Hangley, a Philadelphia jury of eight ultimately found in favor of Jillian’s client, finding that plaintiff’s alleged injuries were not caused by the accident.