Plaintiffs Accept Settlement Offer 12% of Demand After 4.5 Years of Litigation
On January 20, 2021, Debra Braasch and co-counsel, settled a case for $3,750,000 following a 998, policy limits demand of $31,000,000 from which plaintiffs refused to budge and steadfastly claimed was the value of this case for more than 3 years. The case involved a pregnant woman who was involved in an accident with an 80,000-pound dump truck. Although the pregnancy was intact after the accident, the child was born prematurely at 26 weeks. The adult plaintiff claimed a broken hand and neck and back injuries which were treated with epidural injections and physical therapy. Surgery was recommended for her low back. The mother’s economic and non-economic damages were opined to be in excess of $6,000,000. Plaintiffs claimed that the child’s premature birth and all attending problems were caused by the accident and the stress the mother suffered as a result of the accident. They also claimed that during the accident, the fetus suffered a significant brain malformation/brain injury to the corpus callosum resulting in seizures and developmental delays. The child’s medical expenses were in excess of $2,500,000, his life care plan, which included assisted living, was between $9,200,000 and $21,000,000 and his economic damages were calculated at $29,000,000.Defendants denied that mom needed back surgery, denied that the child suffered any type of brain injury as a result of the accident and denied that his premature birth was caused by the subject accident. The depositions the defense took of the mother’s OB/GYN and plaintiffs’ experts ended up being quite helpful for the defense. At mediation with Janet Fields and on the eve of trial, the plaintiffs increased their settlement demand to $45,000,000. Several days later, they finally agreed to accept $3,750,000 in full and final settlement of all claims, which is approximately 12% of their 3-year-old, $31,000,000 policy limits demand and 7% of their $51,000,000 total damages evaluation.