On August 10, 2011, United States Navel Petty Officer KY, age 26, was stopped in traffic on Route 206 in Bordentown, New Jersey, when her vehicle was rear-ended by a Ford 350 pickup operated by Mr. Avisai Pantle-Aguirre and owned by H&H Landscape Management, LLC. The force of the crash spun KY’s vehicle, causing it to collide with the vehicle stopped in front of her.
KY was initially diagnosed with having sustained a concussion and a neck injury. MRI’s of her brain, neck and low back revealed two small lesions in her left parietal lobe, three herniated discs in her neck and a bulging disc in her low back. KY underwent treatment for neck and back complaints as well as post-concussion syndrome signs and symptoms over the next 6 months. Fortunately, she has been able to continue her career in the United States Navy despite continued neck and back pain as well as the sequelae of her post-concussion syndrome.
On November 9, 2016, a Burlington County Jury returned a verdict awarding KY $1 million for pain and suffering and another $1 million for loss of earning capacity. It was KY’s position that when she ultimately left the Navy her residual injuries would result in a loss of income, as well as a reduction in her work life expectancy.
KY, who was born in China and immigrated to the United States at the age of 21, joined the United Stated Navy in 2008. While KY is fluent in English, Mandarin is her primary language and a Mandarin translator was used throughout her testimony as well as the testimony of her mother.
Defendants acknowledged the MRI findings, but argued that the brain lesions were unspecified and not the cause of plaintiff’s subjective complaints. They also argued that the cervical and lumbar findings on the MRIs showed there was no impingement, and that she only suffered sprains and strains which had healed.
Defendants’ vocational “expert” testified that there was no loss of earning capacity as she was still in the Navy, and has transferable skills. On cross, he was forced to admit that persons with cognitive disabilities earn less and have a shortened life expectancy, which was KY’s expert’s position.
Even mild concussive episodes (also called mild Traumatic Brain Injuries) can result in lifelong cognitive disabilities. If you or someone you know has suffered a concussion in an accident you should consult an experienced attorney to assess your rights under current law. Consultations are usually free and services are often offered on a contingency basis.
NOTE: Any information about verdicts or settlements obtained are based on the unique facts of each case. Although these results were obtained by our firm, they may not indicate the success or value of any other case. This amount reflects the gross recovery in the case (before attorneys’ fees, expenses and medical costs are deducted).