Truck Passenger Seeks Damages for Accident Injuries

Case Caption: Joyce Stevens v. Terry Blackmon
Case Number: 07A76538
Court:  DeKalb County State Court
Judge: Barbara J. Mobley
Verdict: $8,310
Date of Verdict: 5/14/2009
Attorneys:
Plaintiff: Allen W. Johnson, Augusta
Defendant: Stephanie V. Kandzierski, Dunwoody

Facts:
A passenger in a tractor-trailer was allegedly injured in an accident involving defendant’s vehicle.  Defendant disputed that plaintiff’s injuries were related to this incident. The jury returned an $8,310 verdict in favor of plaintiff.

Plaintiff Joyce Stevens was a passenger in a tractor-trailer that was traveling on a surface street in a commercial area of Riverdale. She claimed she was sitting on the bench seat in the cab when the rig was struck by a vehicle driven by Defendant Terry Blackmon. Plaintiff testified that she was jolted and thrown against the side of the cab.

Plaintiff alleged that defendant caused the accident when he failed to keep a safe distance between vehicles and struck the rear of the rig. Plaintiff acknowledged she had preexisting neck and back complaints, but denied any prior shoulder complaints or radiating pain from her neck area. She claimed her shoulder injury was the direct result of this accident and that she had recovered from her prior neck and back problems.

Defendant admitted he struck the rear of the truck, but contended that plaintiff had preexisting neck and back complaints, as well prior shoulder complaints. Defendant argued that plaintiff’s injuries were not caused by this accident and any minor injuries should have resolved. He disputed the extent of plaintiff’s damages.

Plaintiff Profile:
Plaintiff was a 55 year old married female who was a truck driver.

Alleged Injury: Soft tissue cervical and lumbar injuries requiring physical therapy and chiropractic treatment, as well as shoulder (nerve) impingement which required arthroscopic surgery. Plaintiff had continuing complaints of shoulder pain to the date of trial and returned to work with limitations. She claimed $26,200 in past medicals, unspecified lost wages, and damages for pain and suffering.

Jury Deliberations: Less than 1 hour

Settlement Efforts:

Last Demand:
$30,787

Last Offer: $5,000

Insurance Carrier: State Farm

Expert(s):
Plaintiff:  None
Defendant: Priva S. Deshpande, M.D. Family Practice – Augusta, GA Alex Collins, D.O. Orthopedist – Augusta

Editor’s Notes: There was no appeal and this case is closed.

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