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ARTICLE ID 50019

Insurance subrogation - Plaintiff seeking in excess of $________ paid on workers compensation claim - Auto/pedestrian collision - Alleged negligent reversal - Cervical and lumbar disc herniations claimed.

Palm Beach County

This was a subrogation action brought by the plaintiff insurance company in an attempt to recover some $________ paid for medical expenses and lost wages on a workers’ compensation claim. The plaintiff claimed that the defendant negligently reversed her vehicle so as to strike a pedestrian. The owner of the vehicle, the driver’s husband, was also named as a defendant in the case. The defendant driver maintained that she was unable to avoid the collision after the pedestrian walked behind her moving vehicle. The defense also disputed the injuries which the pedestrian claimed to have sustained as a result of the accident.

The claimant was in the course and scope of her employment with a candy company. She had parked her vehicle and was walking into a store, when she claimed the defendant backed out of a parking space, struck her and knocked her to the street. The claimant’s physician testified that the claimant sustained disc herniations in her cervical and lumbar spine, as a result of the accident. The claimant underwent a cervical fusion and her doctor testified that she is a candidate for a lumbar fusion in the future.

The defendant’s accident reconstruction expert testified that the defendant had no opportunity to avoid the accident. The defense also called a witness who testified that she yelled to the pedestrian to "Watch Out", but the pedestrian was not paying attention and just kept walking. The defendant’s medical expert testified that the claimant’s neck and back condition was degenerative and not causally related to the accident.

The jury found no negligence on the part of the defendant, which was a legal cause of injury to the claimant. The defendant offered a $________ liability policy limit to settle the case and has filed a motion for attorney fees and costs. The plaintiff has filed an appeal.

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