Lumbar Fusion, Rear-End Auto

Style of Case: Michael Thomason v. Robert Osterhout
Client: Robert Osterhout
Trial End Date: 2/18/2016
Court: Third Judicial Circuit, Madison County, Illinois
Type of Case: Lumbar Fusion, Rear-End Auto
Judge: The Honorable Andy Matoesian
Reed Armstrong Lawyer who tried the case: Tori L. Walls

Jury Verdict

The accident occurred on Rt. 159 in Edwardsville at the Interstate 270 interchange on November 22, 2010. The defendant was travelling behind the plaintiff in the left hand turn lane when the defendant rear-ended the plaintiff at a low rate of speed. The defendant admitted he was negligent in causing the collision, but denied the plaintiff was injured to the extent he claimed. The jury heard testimony from the plaintiff, his treating primary care physician and his pain management doctor. The jury also heard testimony from the defendant’s medical expert. The testimony established that following the accident, the plaintiff was taken to the emergency room with generalized complaints of neck and back pain. The emergency room diagnosis was neck and low back strain/sprain. He then followed up with his primary care physician a week later with similar complaints and received the same diagnosis. He then had a short round of chiropractic care that lasted about 2 months. The evidence showed there was then a 14 month period of time when the plaintiff made no complaints about any neck or back pain to any doctor. The plaintiff’s primary care physician testified that she saw the plaintiff multiple times during that 14 month time frame and found his spine to be normal and pain free on examination. The plaintiff then returned to his primary care physician and complained of a sudden onset of low back pain and leg pain after having done some mopping. The plaintiff then proceeded to have multiple steroid injections in his low back and eventually underwent a lumbar fusion surgery. After the fusion surgery, he continued to complain of pain and ultimately had another surgery to install a spinal cord stimulator. The plaintiff testified that he continues to experience pain even now, 5 years later. The defendant’s position was that the minor rear end car accident, which caused very little damage to either vehicle, was not the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injuries and was not the proximate cause of all the damages he claimed.The plaintiff sought to admit over $150,000 in medical bills into evidence and asked the jury to award him $300,000 for his medical bills, pain and suffering and loss of normal life. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendant and against the plaintiff, awarding the plaintiff no money.

Last Demand: $100,000
Verdict: Defense