Motorist with Preexisting Conditions Awarded Damages

(courtesy of the Georgia Trial Reporter)

Case Caption: Vickie Darlene Maddox v. Chandra Blake Alemnji
Case Number: 2007CV09172-B
Verdict: $21,500
Court:  Clayton County State Court
Judge: Harold G. Benefield
Date of Verdict: 3/5/2009
Attorneys:
Plaintiff: Andrew E. Goldner, Atlanta
Defendant: Janice M. Wallace, Griffin

Facts:
A Clayton County State Court jury deliberated for 6 hours and returned a $21,500 verdict for a motorist who was allegedly injured in a rear-end collision. The plaintiff claimed defendant was negligent in causing the collision, which she said aggravated preexisting back conditions. Defendant disputed liability, proximate cause and damages.

Plaintiff Vickie Maddox was operating her vehicle. She came to a stop in traffic at an intersection controlled by a traffic signal and was rear-ended by Defendant Chandra Alemnji’s vehicle. The collision resulted in no property damage and occurred at a low speed. The parties disputed the facts surrounding the collision.

Plaintiff alleged she was stopped for the traffic signal and defendant was negligent in rear-ending her vehicle. As a direct result of the collision, plaintiff argued that she sustained an aggravation of preexisting back conditions which required treatment. Plaintiff asserted that her back conditions became symptomatic following the collision and she eventually required lumbar surgery.

Defendant denied liability. Defendant asserted that the collision occurred because plaintiff slammed on her brakes and stopped suddenly at the intersection. Defendant also asserted that all of plaintiff’s claimed injuries were related to preexisting conditions.

Plaintiff Profile: Plaintiff was a 43 year old married female who was a homemaker.

Alleged Injury: Aggravation of preexisting lumbar back conditions including spinal stenosis. Plaintiff treated with her family physician, an orthopedist and a chiropractor and also underwent diagnostic testing. Approximately 1.5 years after the collision, plaintiff underwent lumbar surgery. Plaintiff sought medical specials and damages for pain and suffering.

Jury Deliberations: 6 hours
Settlement Efforts: Last Demand: $50,000
Last Offer: $1,200
Insurance Carrier: State Farm

Editor’s Notes: Plaintiff’s counsel indicated the outcome was impacted because plaintiff’s counsel was able to show that plaintiff’s need for treatment increased following the collision. This case is closed.

Georgia Recent Trial Verdicts provided courtesy of the Georgia Trial Reporter www.georgiaverdicts.com.
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