$1.1 Million for a teenager who injured her shoulder in a low-impact auto accident.
PLAINTIFF ATTORNEY: Luke Ellis (Gillin, Jacobson, Ellis & Larsen) Orinda
DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Confidential
COURT: Hayward/ Alameda County Colman Fannin at JAMS
FACTS: 4/30/98, 9:22 a.m., Plaintiff, a 16-year-old female, was a passenger in the rear middle seat in a vehicle driven by Defendant #1, a 16-year-old female. They were westbound on Cowboy Alley. Defendant #2, an 18-year-old male, was also westbound on Cowboy Alley. As he attempted to parallel park into a parking space, Defendant #1 was behind the vehicle. The two vehicles collided. There was a dispute as to the facts of the collision. Plaintiff was thrown forward, striking her shoulder on the back of the front seat. Speed at impact was between 5 mph and 10 mph.
CONTENTIONS: Plaintiff claimed that both Defendant #1 and defendant #2 were responsible for this accident by backing into her stopped vehicle. Defendant #2 argued that he was stopped and was rear-ended by Defendant #1. Both Defendants argued that this was a low speed accident. Both vehicles sustained minor damage and there were no other serious injuries. Plaintiff could not have been injured given the forces involved in this collision. Plaintiff's current shoulder problems resulted from a pre-existing condition of hyper-elasticity in her shoulder joints, which caused routine dislocation. There was no need for future treatment stemming from this accident.
INJURIES: Brachial plexus injury to right shoulder, subluxation of shoulder from weakened muscles. Treatment: 4 surgeries to stabilize shoulder, possible future surgeries for re-stabilization.
RESIDUALS: Permanent nerve damage, weakness in shoulder and right arm, limited mobility and pain.
SPECIALS: Medical Costs $140,000 past.
NEGOTATIONS: 1st Demand: $1,100,000 combined policy limit. 1st Offer: Various
SETTLEMENT: $1,100,000 total; $1,000,000 policy limits from Defendant #1, $100,000 policy limits from Defendant #2