United States District Court for Colorado: Dewhirst Dolven & Parker attorneys George Parker and Justin Walker obtained a favorable jury verdict on behalf of a defendant in an automobile accident case alleging permanent injuries. The case arose when the Defendant driver slid on ice and snow and rearended the Plaintiff. The Defendant admitted liability and accepted responsibility for causing the accident. At trial the Plaintiff alleged that she would need a lifetime of radiofrequency ablations (RFAs) amounting to future medical costs of $1.3 million; noneconomic damages of $1 million; and physical impairment damages of $7 million; and asked the jury to award $9.3 million against the Defendant.

At trial the defense team presented evidence that the Plaintiff had suffered from low back pain for over a decade and countered the Plaintiff’s expert testimony regarding a lifetime of RFAs with testimony from a Board-Certified Orthopedic Surgeon from Houston, Texas who explained to the jury that the Plaintiff suffered from a pre-existing back injury since 2006 and that she probably needed a disc fusion surgery, but that she has needed one for over a decade and this rear-end accident did not cause her need for surgery. The expert’s opinion was that the Plaintiff had spent the past 13 years masking her pain with pain medication and RFAs when the only way to fix her problem was to have the long-needed disc fusion surgery. In closing Dewhirst Dolven & Parker attorney George Parker used the analogy of someone driving with a tire that was leaking air because it had a nail in it, and the low-tire air pressure light kept coming on. Instead of fixing the problem by having the nail removed and the tire repaired, the driver kept turning off the warning light. The only way for Plaintiff to fix the cause of her back pain was not to spend her entire life trying to mask the pain with pain killers and RFAs, but to stop and have the disc fusion she needed for over a decade prior to the fender-bender accident involving the firm’s client.

After the trial was concluded the jury awarded the Plaintiff a total of $6,000. The jury awarded the Plaintiff $5,000 for past and future medical bills; $1,000 for pain and suffering; and $0 for permanent impairment. The jury was presented with evidence, expert testimony, and persuasive legal arguments that convinced them the only injuries sustained by the Plaintiff in this minor collision were a few weeks of strain/sprain muscles which resolved without the need for further medical care.

The final jury award was about 0.0006% of the amount of the damages sought by the Plaintiff at trial.

April Boyer v. Gwendolyn Hallsmith; Cause No. 1:18-cv-00485-RM-KLM; In the United States District Court for the District of Colorado.