Attorney Alex Sweis recently settled a high exposure knee surgery and pain injection case for a high cost of defense, take it or leave it offer. The plaintiff in the case allegedly sustained left knee ACL tear and underwent various pain management procedures on his cervical spine. The plaintiff underwent two knee surgeries and multiple rounds of pain management injections and demanded the entire commercial policy from the insured’s carrier.
Plaintiff argued that Alex’s client was at fault for causing the automobile vs pedestrian collision. Plaintiff contended that Alex’s client struck the plaintiff in a cross walk and failed to yield. Plaintiff was hit and thrown nine feet in the air. Plaintiff was taken to a local emergency room department.
Alex’s client and an eye witness alleged it was plaintiff who ran out into the middle of the intersection against a do not walk signal. Plaintiff also disclosed a witness to support his contention that he had the walk light.
In the emergency room, plaintiff did complain of pain to both knees and to his cervical spine. After his discharge, he was seen by a well-known pain management clinic. He was sent for MRIs on his cervical spine and knee. The MRI on his knee did show an ACL tear. Less than four months after the accident, plaintiff underwent the ligament reconstruction surgery on his knee. He then underwent treatment on his cervical spine including an epidural steroid injection and multiple rounds of facet injections. Six months after the initial knee surgery, the plaintiff underwent a revision debridement surgery. Plaintiff’s total medical bills were over $150,000. Plaintiff made a policy demand for Alex’s client’s entire $350,000 commercial policy limit.
Alex reviewed the plaintiff’s medical records from the suspect providers and was able to track down the favorable witness, who had recently moved to California. The witness’s testimony and questionable medical bills, forced the case posture for trial.
Facing a policy demand, multiple knee surgeries and over $150,000 in medical bills, Alex and the carrier agreed that the case was not only defendable, but the case value was nowhere near a six figure amount. Alex and plaintiff’s counsel had a very short settlement negotiation. The only offer made, and that would be made, was $50,000, period. During the only phone call with plaintiff’s counsel, Alex informed him of the take it or leave it offer. Plaintiff’s counsel believed that his witness was more credible than Alex’s witness and jumped on the multiple surgeries and injections for more money. The case did settle for $50,000 from the $350,000 policy demand.
Even though the case did feature elements of a potential excess jury verdict, the decision was made that some cases need to be tried, or settled for a strict cost of defense offer. For more information about the case or other litigation questions, please contact attorney, Alexander Sweis, at McKenna.
McKenna Storer has been serving its clients for more than 66 years. We are open and available for consultations at both our Chicago and Woodstock locations. Please follow us on or our LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook pages.