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DEFENDANT’S Motor Vehicle Negligence – Negligent pull out – Intersection collision – Lumbar disc herniation claimed – Tendon tear to finger – Damages/causation only.

Palm Beach County, FL

The plaintiff alleged that the defendant negligently exited a shopping plaza, cut off the plaintiff’s car and caused a collision, which left the plaintiff permanently injured. The defendant stipulated to negligence in causing the accident, but disputed the injuries which allegedly resulted from the impact.

Evidence showed that the accident occurred on February 24, ________. The plaintiff contended that the collision caused significant property damage to her vehicle, and caused her airbag to deploy. The plaintiff claimed injuries to her lower back and left middle finger, specifically an L5-S1 disc herniation and a partial tear of the flexor digitorum profundus tendon.

The plaintiff underwent a laminotomy and discectomy of her L5-S1 disc in her lower back and DIP fusion, and an A1 pulley release of her left middle finger. The defense argued that there was a six-week gap in the plaintiff’s treatment for lower back complaints after the accident; in addition, it was a year post-accident before the plaintiff sought treatment for her finger. The defendant contended that the plaintiff testified during deposition that her finger was bent backwards when the airbag deployed in her car. However, photographs of the vehicle showed that no airbags deployed on the driver’s side of the vehicle, according to the defense.

The defendant argued that the plaintiff’s disc herniation at L5-S1 and partial tear of the flexor digitorum profundus tendon pre-dated the collision, or were otherwise unrelated to the accident. The defense maintained that the plaintiff’s subsequent medical treatment was unrelated to the motor vehicle accident, and that her claimed medical expenses were excessive.The jury found that the defendant’s negligence was not a legal cause of damages to the plaintiff, and a defense verdict was entered.

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