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Back and Neck Injury: Win, Loss and "Wild Card"

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St Louis, MOAccording to a recent personal injury verdict (October 2011), chances are slim you'll receive a substantial back and neck injury settlement if the defense proves you already had existing back and neck problems. A St. Louis family, however, recently settled for more than $1 million after they suffered back and neck injuries in a tractor-trailer crash. Then there's Rosie Perez suing Law & Order

A jury found in the defendant's favor after hearing evidence that the plaintiff, Curtis Martin, had a history of chronic back and neck problems. Martin sued a Jefferson City woman after she rear-ended his pickup truck. (According to police reports, Martin's pickup came to an abrupt stop on a highway and plaintiff Morgan Bound couldn’t stop in time.) In his lawsuit, Martin asked to be compensated for anticipated medical expenses and for his earning capacity being "permanently damaged, diminished, and impaired." Unfortunately for Martin, he failed to disclose how many times he had been to the ER for back treatments, as well as receiving neck and back treatment when he did time in prison.

The last pretrial demand was $40,000; Special Damages: $25,371 in medical expenses. The last pretrial offer amounted to $25,000.

Eight members of the St. Louis family, most of whom suffered neck and back injuries, split $1.1 million in a settlement against Nebraska's K&B Transportation last July. One of the company’s 18-wheelers was driving too close to a tractor-trailer in front of it; when the leading tractor-trailer slowed down, the driver of the rear truck swerved onto the highway shoulder, causing a collision.

The worst injury was a broken left arm that required surgery (the victim received $500,000 without filing a lawsuit). "It is shocking that the plaintiffs weren't hurt worse than they were," said plaintiffs' lead attorney, David Grebel. The crash occurred in July 2008 and the family settled almost three years later—clearly enough time to ensure that there were no further neck and back complications to any of the victims.

And lastly, Rosie Perez v. NBC's Law & Order. Perez filed a lawsuit against the show after an extra allegedly injured her back during a "shakedown" scene while taping an episode in September 2009. Perez claims she suffered a herniated disc and needed two surgeries after the incident. But she waited until May 2011 to file a claim, and she finished taping the episode. The lawsuit, which was filed in Brooklyn, claims that Perez "still suffers severe pain, numbness of the arms, and she'll never be the same despite the surgery."

Stay tuned.


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