Campos v. Cancelmo
Congratulations Juan Ruiz and Aaron Eagan for obtaining a favorable verdict on behalf of State Farm Miami. Plaintiff, Tinnie Campos, claimed permanent low back injuries resulting from a 2013 T-bone collision caused by Mary Cancelmo. Both vehicles were declared a total loss. Plaintiff was driven from the scene to the hospital where she complained of back, neck, foot, arm and shoulder pain. One week after the accident, Ms. Campos retained an attorney and began treating. A lumbar MRI performed one month after the accident showed acute disc herniation and bulges at L2-3, L3-4 and L4-5. Ms. Campos treated initially with medication and physical therapy and later received spinal injections through 2014. Ms. Campos began treating with Dr. Richard Smith in 2016 who recommended a lumbar microdiskectomy at L2-3, L3-4 and L4-5. Ms. Campos, suffered from chronic diabetes, hypertension and morbid obesity, failed to obtain medical clearance for surgery. Ms. Campos denied pre-accident history of low back pain or treatment however, medical and pharmacy records documented that she had been taking prescription medication for low back pain since 2010. At trial, Ms. Campos represented that she had recently obtained medical clearance for the surgery recommended by Dr. Smith. Dr. Smith testified that Ms. Campos had sustained a permanent injury and related the need for surgery to the accident. Dr. Mahan also testified that Ms. Campos’ disc abnormalities represented acute injuries. The defense called Dr. Marc Kaye and Dr. Joseph Uricchio and presented that Ms. Campos’ low back problems were the result of pre-existing chronic changes related to her obesity. The defense also argued that Ms. Campos’ future surgery was speculative and unlikely to occur due to Ms. Campos’ comorbidities. In closing, Plaintiff requested $377,949 for past and future medical bills and pain and suffering. Defense suggested that the jury award $36,000, the approximate cost of Plaintiff’s immediate post-accident diagnostic and palliative care. The jury deliberated for 1 hour, 15 minutes before returning a verdict awarding Plaintiff $36,000 only. The defense will move for attorney fees and costs.
Verdict Date: August 23, 2019