In April 2013, CZ&R settled a young woman’s drop foot and RSD/CRPS case for the defendant’s policy limits of $3.5 million. The 24-year-old recent college graduate was riding her bicycle on a sidewalk on the wrong side of the street when she was struck by the defendant’s vehicle. The defendant was turning into the parking lot of his insurance company’s office. The plaintiff had less than $200,000 in past medical bills.
The case was referred to CZ&R by the Law Offices of Bennett Spector, who worked closely with CZ&R to achieve this result.
In the months subsequent to the collision, the plaintiff suffered symptoms of drop foot. Proving the injury was complicated as both the defense neurologist and the plaintiff’s neurodiagnostic expert could not locate any nerve injury causing the foot drop symptoms. The plaintiff’s RSD/CRPS condition – a chronic pain disorder – was also missed by her treating physicians.
Complicating the case still further, the plaintiff was an exceptionally intelligent college student and had experienced only very limited loss of earnings.
To increase pressure on the defense, CZ&R sought to prove the elderly defendant’s vision was sufficiently degraded that he should not be driving. CZ&R hoped to prove that driving with degraded vision is so reckless that punitive damages should be imposed. As all litigators know, a defendant is generally entitled to conduct a medical examination of a plaintiff in order to cross-examine the plaintiff about her injuries at trial. In this case, CZ&R used a little-known statute to turn the tables on the defense. CZ&R demanded that the defendant be examined by plaintiff’s eye doctor.
The defense settled for $3.5 million – the full policy limits – shortly after the defendant’s vision examination was demanded.