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Catastrophic Injury, Target Defendant, Jury Verdict

Successfully tried to verdict a lawsuit in Cumberland County, North Carolina brought on behalf of a sixty-one year old, unmarried woman who was injured as a result of an automobile being test driven by a mechanic employed by a major auto repair chain in eastern North Carolina. Independent witnesses estimated the speed of the vehicle in question at approximately 70 miles per hour in a 45 mile per hour zone. When the mechanic lost control of the vehicle, it overturned and landed on the top of the plaintiff's vehicle. The plaintiff required over four months of hospitalization, including one month in a required, medically-induced coma. Plaintiff's medical bills exceeded $500,000. Most of the bones on the left side of her body were broken, and the majority of her internal organs were displaced. The plaintiff received a 68% impairment rating of the whole person by an expert normally retained by defendants in personal injury cases. She was never able to return to work. The mechanic, who was killed in the accident, had substantial THC (marijuana) levels in his blood. After five days of trial, the jury returned a verdict in the exact amount that was offered in mediation. The verdict was far below the defendant's liability policy limits and significantly less than focus group analysis performed by both parties.