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ARTICLE ID 48477

$________ GROSS Negligent right turn from center lane - Roll-over collision - Cervical disc herniation - Cervical fusion performed - Soft tissue back injuries - 60% comparative negligence found.

Broward County

The plaintiff claimed that the defendant made a negligent right turn from the center lane, struck the plaintiff’s mini van and caused it to roll over. The defendant argued that the plaintiff caused the accident by speeding up to the right side of the defendant’s car as she was changing into the right lane.

The plaintiff was a Brazilian immigrant in her 40s who testified through an interpreter. She testified that she was proceeding in the right lane, when the defendant attempted to make a right turn from the center lane. The plaintiff claimed the defendant struck the left side of her mini van and caused it to roll over.

The plaintiff’s neurosurgeon testified that the plaintiff sustained a cervical disc herniation as a result of the accident. The plaintiff underwent a double-level cervical fusion. Her neurosurgeon also testified that fusion surgery causes instability above and below the surgical site and that the plaintiff may require additional cervical surgery at those levels. The plaintiff also claimed to have sustained multiple sprain and strain injuries to her back as a result of the collision.

The defendant testified that she was changing lanes to make a right turn into a gas station, when the plaintiff drove up the right lane at a fast rate of speed, causing a sideswipe collision.

Testimony of the defendant’s accident reconstruction expert was limited by the court. This expert testified that a sideswipe collision caused the plaintiff’s car to leave the road surface and roll at least twice. The defendant’s expert opined that the plaintiff was traveling at a speed of at least 70 mph in a 45 mph zone at the time of impact. He also opined that, had the plaintiff been traveling at a speed of 45 mph, the accident would not have been as severe and the plaintiff’s car most likely would not have left the road and rolled over.

The defendant additionally argued, based on cross-examination of the plaintiff’s neurosurgeon, that the likelihood of the plaintiff requiring future cervical surgery was less than 50%.

The jury found the defendant 40% negligent and the plaintiff 60% comparatively negligent. The plaintiff was awarded $________ in damages reduced to a net award of $________. The award included future medical care, but did not incorporate the cost of future cervical surgery.

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