The plaintiff, a tow truck driver and battery technician, was dispatched to assist the defendant with what she believed to be a dead battery in her personal manual transmission vehicle. As the plaintiff was in the process of testing the defendant’s battery, the defendant suddenly started her vehicle, driving it forward and pinning the plaintiff’s leg between the front hood of the defendant vehicle and the back of the plaintiff’s tow truck.
The plaintiff suffered an abrasion and hematoma on the inside of his left knee. A little more than a month after the collision, the abrasion and hematoma developed into a MRSA infection requiring serial debridement sessions with a wound care doctor.
The plaintiff completed treatment for his injuries within 6 months of the date of the collision, undergoing roughly 16 debridement procedures and packing his own wound around 30 times. He was left with a scar in the site of the MRSA infection. No other permanent injuries were claimed.
At trial, the defense argued that the plaintiff was contributorily negligent and had assumed the risk of the collision. The defendant and an eyewitness testified that the plaintiff had instructed the defendant to start the vehicle while the plaintiff remained between the two vehicles. The plaintiff denied asking the defendant to start the vehicle and provided testimony about his experience as well as testimony about what occurred on the date of the collision.
Dr. Gerald Donowitz appeared by video deposition in support of the plaintiff’s medical treatment and injury. The defense did not challenge the treatment received or the injuries sustained by the plaintiff.
The plaintiff testified about the development of the MRSA infection. He testified to the impact that the wound and its resulting treatment had on him in terms of pain as well as the mental anguish from the experience of the debridement procedures and packing his own wound. His wife provided testimony in support, explaining her observations of her husband’s condition throughout his active treatment period.
The plaintiff’s total medical bills came out to $31,196.20 with wage loss of $27,500.00. The total economic damages were $58,696.20. The last offer was $185,000.00.
After two days of trial and deliberation, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiff in the amount of $700,000.00. The full verdict amount was paid by the insurance carrier.
John Joseph Siegner, III, of Allen Allen Allen & Allen, represented the plaintiff in this matter.