On Tuesday, the Missouri Supreme Court issued its opinion in a case that will effect most personal injury lawsuits in Missouri. In Deck v. Teasley, SC90628, the Court interpreted a statute enacted by the Missouri legislature in 2005 dealing with what evidence juries could see in personal injury cases pertaining to the plaintiff’s medical bills. The Court held that the plaintiff in Deck could introduce the original and complete medical bills incurred, despite a presumption in the statute that the value of the treatment is the amount necessary to satisfy the obligation, which often times is reduced through insurance adjustments and write-offs.
A St. Louis jury awarded Philip Simms $100,000 for his personal injuries he sustained in a vehicle crash in St. Charles County. Simms suffered small fractures in his neck as a result of the rear end crash. He settled with the other driver’s insurance company, then sued his own insurance company to recover under his underinsured policy. The case was tried in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.
Simms had to wear a neck brace for months, and eventually the many fractures healed without surgery. The judge reduced the jury award amount by the $50,000 the other driver’s insurance paid, and the $5,000 already paid by Simms’s insurer, Progressive. According to testimony, the other driver was drunk when he rear ended Simms. However, Simms also admitted have 2 beers earlier in the day.
A St. Louis jury recently returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit arising out of a slip and fall at Del Taco in midtown St. Louis. The plaintiff, Steven Willis, claimed that he injured his back, arm, and leg after he fell through a pothole in the parking lot of the Del Taco located on Grand Boulevard. He introduced evidence of medical and chiropractic bills totaling $6,904. However, the verdict was reduced to $56,250 because the jury found the plaintiff was 25% at fault.
A Jefferson County, Missouri youth settled a personal injury lawsuit against a utility company whose truck struck the young runner while he was running along the side of the road. The auto/pedestrian accident happened in June 2009. The truck struck the student while he was running, dragging him along, which resulted in serious personal injuries in the runner’s feet, ripping tendons and flesh from his right foot. The driver then drove away, although he did eventually turn around and return to the scene of the accident. Allegedly, the driver then drove the runner to his parent’s house where the driver then lied about what happened.
The young runner settled the case for $1 million dollars. He is no longer able to run competitively, and lost any chance he had at obtaining a college scholarship based on running. He was in the hospital for 2 weeks after the accident.
Missouri traffic accidents involving pedestrians are especially dangerous and can be deadly. A pedestrian does not have the added safety of being within a protective shell of a vehicle, and a human body does not stand much of a chance against a moving vehicle of any size. This also includes persons who are riding bicycles on Missouri roadways. Missouri drivers should take care to watch for pedestrians and cyclers when driving.
In the St. Louis news today, a child pedestrian was struck by a school bus within the city of St. Louis. Thankfully the child survived, but not all children are so fortunate. Children pedestrians are often even more difficult for drivers to see, so take extra caution and care when driving near areas where children might be, like near playgrounds and schools.
A Missouri personal injury lawsuit based on alleged medical malpractice recently resulted in a $1.4 million dollar verdict for the plaintiff, Vickie Shaw. Ms. Shaw sued Dr. Daniel Weed in Clay County Circuit Court. She alleged that Dr. Weed was negligent by inaccurately diagnosing her with avascular necrosis, which resulted in the unnecessary performance of a total hip replacement surgery. She further alleged that the unnecessary surgery left her with permanent pain issues and caused one leg to lengthen, leaving her with uneven leg sizes. The trial lasted three days, and the jury needed less than four hours to rule in Shaw’s favor.
In February, 2008 a teenage brother and sister were involved in an auto accident with an intoxicated driver. Shortly before the accident, the drunk driver had been drinking beer at a local Kansas City restaurant. His blood was drawn after the accident, and his blood alcohol content was beyond the legal limit. Both teenagers suffered severe injuries in the accident. The young man’s medical specials totaled $115,000, and the young woman’s totaled $150,000.
The brother and sister brought a personal injury action against the restaurant in Jackson County, Missouri, based on an alleged violation of Missouri’s dram shop law. The plaintiffs claimed the restaurant knew the man was intoxicated before he left. They further claimed the restaurant failed to have precautionary policies in place regarding the safe administration and service of alcohol by its employees. The case settled for $4,000,000. The identity of the parties was not released due to the confidentiality terms of the settlement.
The long journey through Missouri’s legal system appears to be over for two teenage daughters of a man killed in an auto accident four years ago. Lee Widaman, father of Elise L. Widaman and Natalie J. Widaman, was killed when he was struck by a car on the side of the road after he stopped to help a fellow motorist. The daughters reached a settlement early on with one insurance company, but did not finally resolve the case until last month, when during the course of trial a final settlement was reached. An order approving that settlement was entered on August 19. Under the settlement each daughter will receive $189,700, and Lee Widaman’s mother will receive $29,900.
An elderly man recently settled a personal injury lawsuit he filed after the car he was driving was struck by a bus just outside of St. Louis in Florissant, Missouri. The man required three surgeries following the accident. His medical expenses were $211,119 and his lost wages totaled $168,044. He was forced to quit his job as an insurance broker due to chronic pain resulting from the accident. The settlement totaled $600,000. The identities of the parties were not released pursuant to the terms of the settlement.
A Missouri trucking accident case ends with a $6.5 settlement for the man who was injured after being rear ended by a semi truck. The trucking accident occurred in Benton County Missouri in 2005.
The injured party, Timothy Owen, was driving a motorcycle when he was rear ended by the tractor trailer. The truck was being driven by an employee of Allied Systems. Allied Systems leased the truck from the driver, so in this case, there was a unique question about whether the driver was driving the truck in the course and scope of his employment or for personal use.