Morrison Mahoney Partners Douglas Price and Bridget Lopez recently obtained a favorable verdict in Middlesex Superior Court stemming from a car versus bicycle accident. Liability was contested in that we argued that our client driver looked and saw the bicyclist prior to the impact, but believed he had enough distance to safely execute a right turn across the bicyclist’s path. There was also evidence that the bicyclist saw our client, but was attempting to beat the traffic light thereby striking our client’s vehicle mid-turn.
We conceded that the plaintiff suffered multiple injuries as a result of the accident, including skinned hands, as well as bruises to his right elbow, including a bone bruise. However, the plaintiff primarily claimed he sustained an injury to his ulnar nerve which required surgical repair, leaving him with a 10 cm scar and ongoing impairment. The plaintiff utilized the chief of an orthopedic surgery department from a large hospital as his expert. Through cross examination, in the rare occurrence of fighting a doctor on the medicine, and with the use of a skeletal model, we reviewed the anatomy of the elbow in juxtaposition to the findings of the post-accident MRI, arguing that the area of trauma to the elbow shown on the MRI did not affect the ulnar nerve. Based on this, and a delay in onset of any ulnar nerve symptoms, we argued that the plaintiff’s ulnar nerve compression (as confirmed by an EMG) and resultant surgery was unrelated to the accident.
The plaintiff suggested to the jury a verdict range of over $250,000. After deliberation the jury found for the plaintiff, awarding $10,100, but also found 50% comparative negligence, reducing the verdict to $5,050, an amount significantly less than pretrial offers.