September 20, 2022. Partner Jay Eidex tried a case to a Jury in the State Court Rockdale County that arose out of a side-swipe motor vehicle accident that occurred on October 5, 2018. According to the police report, the accident occurred as both vehicles traveled northbound and the Defendant attempted to change lanes and did not see Plaintiff’s vehicle. Plaintiff stated that she was traveling in the left lane when Defendant entered her lane of travel and struck her vehicle. The responding officer found the Defendant to be at fault and issued a citation. Negligence was admitted at trail and the defense focused on causation and damages.
The Plaintiff claimed right knee, back and neck injuries. She underwent chiropractic treatment and was referred to have an MRI of her lumbar and cervical spine. She ultimately was referred to an orthopedist and underwent pain injections in her cervical spine and was administered a TENS unit. She claimed medical damages totaling $29,853.00.
At trial, Mr. Eidex called Dr. Barry Jeffries, a neuroradiologist who provided an opinion that the findings on the MRI were degenerative and chronic in nature rather than acute or traumatic. Defendant further presented Dr. Keith Raziano who testified that the bill presented by the Plaintiff for the pain injections was well above the usual and customary charges and he further described the billed amounts as “predatory.” Mr. Eidex argued this was a low impact collision that could not have resulted in the alleged injuries and that even if the injuries were related to some degree, the amounts billed for the treatment were excessive.
The defense presented the testimony of Board-Certified Radiologist, Dr. Barry Jeffries, MD, who walked the jury through the MRIs of Plaintiff’s spine. Dr. Jeffries explained to the jury that the positive findings on the Plaintiff’s imaging studies regions could not have been caused by the collision and would have pre-dated the collision. The defense also presented the video-taped deposition of a medical billing expert.
Plaintiff’s counsel asked the jury to return a verdict in the amount of $75,000. The Jury deliberated for three hours before returning a verdict in favor of the Plaintiff in the amount of $6,000, well below the defendant’s pre-trial offer of $14,000.
The Case is Ngoc Bich Vu v. Rebecca Mitchell, State Court of Rockdale County CAFN 2019-SV-2673.