Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani managing partner of the firm's Westchester office, Donald Derrico scores his fifth defense verdict in 2017.
The plaintiff alleged that as the result of a rear end collision in 2013 she sustained injuries to her neck and back. Ultimately, the plaintiff had a lumbar discectomy and was recommended to have a cervical discectomy and fusion. After the plaintiff was granted summary judgment on liability, the carrier contacted Derrico and asked that he try the damages aspect of the case.
The plaintiff’s doctor who performed the lumbar surgery testified that the plaintiff would require a lumbar fusion and revision and cervical fusion and revision in the future. The doctor opined that the cost of these four future surgeries would be $1.1 million. The plaintiff alleged that as a result of her injuries and surgery she could no longer work. The plaintiff was previously employed as a Home Health Aid.
Derrico, along with the assistance of senior counsel Amy Curley, was successful at trial in precluding the lost wages claim based upon evidentiary issues. Derrico called a biomechanical engineer and radiologist as experts at trial. The radiologist opined that the lumbar and cervical herniations found on the MRIs taken two months after the accident were degenerative and pre-existing. He also opined that there was no evidence of an acute injury. The biomechanical expert opined that the impact was not sufficient enough to have caused the alleged injuries.
The plaintiff asked the jury for $6.1 million. The jury deliberated only 25 minutes and returned a defense verdict based upon their finding that the plaintiff had not sustained a “serious injury”.
Derrico's other defense verdicts in 2017 occurred in June, August, October, and November.