Client Underwent Lumbar Fusion & Requires Future Periodic Surgeries
Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin partners Phil Russotti and Kenneth Halperin obtained a settlement for our client in the amount of $2,750,000. Our client, who worked in the lawn care field and was in his early 40s at the time of the accident, had a previously asymptomatic and undiagnosed degenerative condition involving the calcification of posterior longitudinal ligament and lumbar disc space narrowing which were aggravated, causing herniations at L4-5 and C-3-4 with impingement on the thecal sac. Our client maintained that the injuries necessitated fusion surgery in both the lumbar and cervical areas, that he will suffer severe permanent pain and will require future periodic surgeries. Our client's motion for summary judgment on liability was granted in this case in which the plaintiff's motor vehicle struck in the rear.
Our client's orthopedist would have testified that the MRIs taken shortly after the collision showed herniations at L4-5 and C3-4, which were of recent origin and consistent with the timing of the collision. The physician would have also testified that signs of significant preexisting degeneration that included the calcification of the posterior longitudinal ligament were noted on the diagnostic imaging taken the day of the accident. Our client was previously asymptomatic and contended that he was rendered much more vulnerable to trauma because of the degenerative condition.
The orthopedist related that following unsuccessful conservative treatment, it became apparent that fusion surgery for both herniations was indicated. Our client first underwent a lumbar fusion, and while awaiting authorization for cervical surgery, our client was involved in an intersection collision. He was wearing his seatbelt during this accident as he was in the subject collision.
Phil contended that our client will incur extensive future expenses, including medical and hospital bills, home health aide costs and help with everyday activities such as cooking and shopping. Our client's 21 year old son currently helps him with his everyday chores and he will move out on his own in the future. Our client's life care plan and future medical costs claim approximated $4,000,000. Our client's physician would also have testified that it is likely that he will require surgical intervention every approximate decade for the remainder of his life.