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Jesse Gubernat and Elizabeth Dehaan Receive Defense Verdict

January 20, 2016

Jesse Gubernat and Elizabeth Dehaan received a defense verdict in a three day jury trial in Lee County, Florida.
 The plaintiff was a 55 year old male who was stopped at a red light in a pickup truck talking on his cell phone when he was rear-ended by our client.  Our client was stopped behind him at the light, he let off the brake of his box truck and hit the rear of the Plaintiff's vehicle. There was less than $500 worth of property damage to each vehicle, but the Plaintiff testified his bolted on tool box broke in the impact and his radio and ash tray came flying out of the dashboard. Additionally, he alleged his titanium hitch was bent and unusable following the impact. The defendant did his repairs himself and admitted fault.
The Plaintiff treated with a chiropractor six days after the accident with his major complaints being neck pain and severe headache.  Ultimately, his complaints become low back pain and bilateral calf and thigh pain. The Plaintiff then treated with several different medical providers receiving epidural steroid injections, nerve  block injections, physical therapy, and despite the four different MRIs of his lumbar spine - all of which revealed only degenerative changes - he ultimately underwent a microdiscectomy. Out of his four medical providers following the accident - three told him to get a vascular work up to rule out whether his symptoms were vascular related. The Plaintiff scheduled an appointment to get the vascular work up, but then never followed through - citing he was "too afraid of needles."  He denied any prior complaints of leg pain before our accident, but a prior record showed a complaint of cramping in his things and calves one year before our subject accident.
The defense CME expert said the Plaintiff had degenerative change consistent with age, at most he had a low back sprain/strain which would have healed in 90 days and the leg complaints were likely caused by vascular/circulatory issues.  It was suggested to the jury by the Defense that if the jury did find causation, they should cut off treatment after two months - the date the Plaintiff told his providers that his lower back and neck pain was a 0/10.  We requested the jury award $7,885 in past meds and nothing else. After an hour and a half of lunch/deliberations, the jury agreed with the recommended award and found no permanent injury.  Plaintiff's counsel requested $450,000 in total at trial, of which over $110,000 was for past medical bills.  Fees and costs will be assessed against the Plaintiff due to an expired proposal for settlement that was not accepted early in the case.

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