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Third-Party Auto Negligence

Motor Vehicle Litigation / February 28, 2020

Court/Case No: Macomb County Circuit Court/18-000836-NI

Tried/Argued Before: Jury

Demand: $4M ($2M in future wage loss, $500k in wage loss to date, and $1.5M in noneconomic damages)

Verdict: $0 – Order for No Cause of Action

Name of Judge(s): Honorable Edward Servitto

Keys to the Case:

Plaintiff filed suit alleging serious injuries arising out of a rear-end accident involving three vehicles which occurred on March 12, 2017. Defendant admitted some negligence in rear-ending Plaintiff’s vehicle, but alleged comparative fault as witnesses at the scene testified that Plaintiff “jumped in front of” Defendant’s vehicle a few seconds before the impact.  Plaintiff did not appear injured at the scene and did not seek medical treatment with a doctor or hospital.  Instead, he visited his longtime chiropractor the next day for an adjustment.

Six days after the accident, Plaintiff experienced what was diagnosed as a cryptogenic stroke of unknown origin. He returned to work as a general contractor within a week and engaged in his normal daily activities throughout that time. He continued to treat with his chiropractor, until he was referred to Dr. Fernando Diaz of Michigan Head & Spine Institute by his attorney. Dr. Diaz subsequently performed a cervical discectomy, then a cervical fusion one year later.

Defense counsel Renee Townsend successfully combatted Dr. Diaz’s medical opinions relating these surgeries to the accident with photographs from the accident scene, testimony from a neuroradiologist who reviewed the pre- and post-accident images of the cervical spine, social media posts, and tax records.  Ms. Townsend also demonstrated the collusion between the surgeon, the attorney, and the Plaintiff in relating this pre-existing condition to the accident.

Ms. Townsend also successfully obtained directed verdict as to the stroke by arguing that causation had not been proven by Plaintiff’s counsel in its case-in-chief because all of the doctors who evaluated the Plaintiff related to the stroke ultimately could not determine if it was caused by the accident.

After a two-week trial, the jury deliberated for one hour and ten minutes before returning a verdict of no cause in favor of the Defendant. The jury found that while the Defendant had been negligent, the Plaintiff was not injured in this accident

Defense SW attorney(s) Involved in Case:


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