Plaintiff, who had the benefit of full tort coverage, was stopped at a red traffic signal on Baltimore Avenue when he was struck from behind by the Defendant near 39th Street in Philadelphia. As a result of the accident, the plaintiff claimed to have serious injuries to his neck, mid-back and low back in addition to pain radiating into his legs. The plaintiff underwent a course of physical therapy, pain management, and chiropractic care. He was diagnosed with multiple herniations in his lumbar spine by MRI, which the treating physician causally related to the accident. Plaintiff also presented a substantial excess medical claim, including a healthcare lien, and continued to complain of pain related to the accident when he testified at trial.
In a bench trial before the Hon. Judge Charles J. Cunningham, Joel argued that the plaintiff had pre-existing injuries that were not aggravated in the accident, but were instead the cause of his ongoing complaints. Ultimately, Judge Cunningham agreed that the Plaintiff’s alleged injuries were not causally related to the accident at issue and entered a verdict in favor of the defendant.