November 27, 2023

Kelley Kronenberg Spares Carrier $1M+ with Settlement in Lieu of Jury Trial

Kelley Kronenberg Attorney, Catherine Arpen, recently achieved a remarkable victory in a challenging case. The firm took on this matter just six months before it was slated for a jury trial, following a transfer from in-house counsel. 

The case involved a minor rear-end collision, where the plaintiff claimed extensive injuries, including five surgeries and substantial past medical expenses totaling over $812,000. Adding complexity, the plaintiff had pre-existing injuries from a prior motor vehicle accident in 2017, resulting in permanency.  

Our team’s defense strategy was meticulous. Catherine enlisted the expertise of a biomechanical engineer and accident reconstructionist, who, through comprehensive analysis, determined the collision occurred at a minimal speed of 1.5 – 3 mph, challenging the causation claim. The EDR download further supported our stance, despite the plaintiff’s refusal to produce their vehicle for over two years. Additionally, a renowned brain and spinal neurosurgeon, retained by the defense, conducted a thorough examination and found no causal link between our client’s motor vehicle accident and the plaintiff’s alleged injuries. 

The legal battle centered on rebutting the presumption of negligence in a rear-end collision. We successfully argued that the exacerbation claimed by the plaintiff was not a result of our client’s actions but rather stemmed from unresolved prior injuries. 

Significantly, the plaintiff’s lack of medical treatment for 1.5 years before our client’s accident posed a challenge. With no medical records during this period, the plaintiff asserted that his prior injuries had resolved, adding weight to their case. 

A key turning point was our strategic use of a power point presentation during mediation. This visual representation effectively showcased the totality of our evidence, highlighting the lack of causation and undermining the plaintiff’s $1.8 million exposure assertion. The mediation resulted in a successful settlement of $750,000, a sum less than the plaintiff’s past medical damages, in exchange for a comprehensive release. 

Our gratitude extends to the carrier for entrusting us with this case. The authority granted to review and summarize medical records was instrumental. This allowed us to expose the gaps in the plaintiff’s case, giving us a strategic advantage during mediation.