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Philadelphia County, PA

The plaintiff alleged that the defendant drove through a Philadelphia intersection on a red light and collided with her car. She claimed that the accident resulted in complete use of her left hand and a significant diminished future earning capacity. The defendant asserted that he entered the intersection on a green light. The defense also stressed that the plaintiff had returned to her former job with no reduction in salary.

The accident occurred on November 7, ________. The plaintiff contended she was driving on Fox Street with a solid green light and green left turn arrow approaching the intersection of Abbottsford Avenue in Philadelphia. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant, traveling north on Abbottsford Avenue, disregarded a red light and entered the intersection where his car struck the plaintiff’s vehicle in the side. The plaintiff argued that the defendant was in a hurry because he was late for work at the time of the collision.

The plaintiff’s Jeep Liberty rolled onto its side from the force of the impact. The plaintiff’s left hand went through the driver’s window and was caught between the driver’s door and the ground as the vehicle rolled. The plaintiff sustained crush and degloving injuries to her left hand resulting in loss of use of the hand. The plaintiff was diagnosed with ruptured ligaments, multiple fractures and complete loss of skin. Reconstruction of the plaintiff’s hand was attempted, including multiple debridements, pinning of the third and fourth fingers and attempts to grow skin over the degloving injury.

The plaintiff underwent seven surgeries in the months following the collision. An attempt to place a tissue expander in order to grow skin for full thickness coverage resulted in an infection of the implant necessitating its removal. The plaintiff’s recovery was also complicated by a staph infection, as well as gram-negative infection which required intravenous antibiotics.

The plaintiff’s doctors reported that the plaintiff has been left with profound dysfunction of her left hand and, according to AMA guidelines, she has lost the use of her left hand for all intended purposes. The plaintiff also complained of ongoing chronic pain syndrome and the ability to move only her left thumb and index finger. The plaintiff’s doctor reported that the plaintiff is at risk of developing an overuse syndrome of the right upper extremity due to her compensation for loss of use of her left hand.

The plaintiff was a 32-year-old mother of two children, ages 12 and 13, at the time of the accident. She was employed as a caretaker for mentally and physically handicapped persons. Although the plaintiff returned to her former employment, she contended that she is able to perform her work duties only with the assistance of certain co-workers. Without these co-workers, the plaintiff claimed that she would be unable to perform the essential functions of her employment and would lose her job. The plaintiff’s vocational/economic expert calculated the plaintiff’s future lost earnings and loss of household services to be approximately $________.The case was settled for $________ prior to trial.

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