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$170,000 Verdict for Missouri Car Accident

Knee Pain Arose Weeks After Crash

Missouri Lawyers Weekly

Jessica Wagoner sued Marvin Fulton for injures she suffered in an Autust 2000 automobile accident in St. Charles

Wagoner claimed that Fulton pulled out in front of her on Highway 94 without warning. She was taken by ambulance to St. Joseph Hostpital’s emergency room, complaining of neck and back pain. She followed up with her general practitioner, who prescribed a course of physical therapy.

Two months after the accident Wagoner went to Dr. Richar Helfrey for left knee pain. Dr. Helfrey diagnosed a torn ACL. Seeking a second opinion, Wagoner went to Dr. John McAllister, who agreed with Dr. Helfrey and made surgical repairs to Wagoner’s knee.

Fulton contented that Wagoner’s knee injury was not caused by the crash because she had no complaints of knee pain for two months after the accident. In addition, Fulton argued that her injuries to two auto accidents Wagoner was involved in after the crash with Fulton.

Following a two-day trial a St. Louis County jury found in favor of Wagoner, assessing her damages at $200,000. After allocating 15 percent of the fault to her, judgment was entered for $170,000. Prior to appeal, Wagoner settled for $100,000 policy limits

Type of Action: Automobile accident

Type of Injuries: Torn ACL, soft tissue neck injuries, head contusion

Court/Case Number/Date: St. Louis County Circuit Court/01CC-609/Nov. 5, 2002

Caption: Wagoner v. Fulton

Judge, Jury or ADR: Jury

Name of Judge: Larry Kendrick

Verdict or Settlement: $170,000 verdict after allocation of fault

Special damages: $27,000 medical expense

Allocation of Fault: 85 percent to defendant; 15 percent to plaintiff

Last Offer: $20,000

Last Demand: $75,000

Attorneys for Plaintiff: John J. Page, Anderson & Associates, St. Louis

Insurance Carrier: State Farm

Plaintiff’s Experts: Dr. John McAllister, St. Louis (orthopedic surgeon)

Defendant’s Experts: Dr. Robert Pierron, St. Louis (orthopedic surgeon)

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