Frank & Hillary Patterson obtained a Defense Verdict in an October trial over UIM benefits. The case is Velvet Entz v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, Pueblo County District Court, 2016CV030960. Plaintiff claimed the accident caused serious cervical injuries including a herniated disc, with past medical expenses of $160,000 and an anticipated future cervical surgery at a cost of $140,644.00 – $244,430. The liability carrier had previously paid its $100,000 in limits. Plaintiff demanded the full UIM policy limits of $500,000. The last and lowest offer to settle by Plaintiff was $350,000.
Frank and Hillary disputed causation. In the trial they admitted plaintiff may have had a slight exacerbation of some pre-accident complaints but denied that the disc herniation or subsequent surgeries were the result of the accident. They argued that plaintiff had a pre-existing degenerative condition in her cervical spine for which she sought periodic chiropractic treatment in the years preceding the accident and that her post-accident treatment was not consistent with a herniation caused by the accident. Instead, they argued that the significant herniation at C5-6 occurred 8 months after the accident and it was not related to the accident.
The jury agreed, finding that Plaintiff’s total damages from the accident were $4,300. Since she had already recovered the liability limits far in excess of that, State Farm owed no UIM payment.
Plaintiff’s treating doctors who testified were Dr. Lloyd Mobley, Dr. Roger Sung, Dr. John Warner, DC and Dr. William Anderson, DC. The defense expert who testified was Dr. Henry Roth.