Verdicts and Settlements Format
Worker’s Compensation/Automobile Accident/Under Insured Claim
Facts/Liability: On June 22, 2016, the plaintiff/employee was operating a company vehicle in Deerfield, New Hampshire. He was a 45 year old individual. He was employed as a sales representative. The tortfeasor was operating her vehicle in the opposite direction in Deerfield, New Hampshire. The driver of the other vehicle crossed the double yellow line, resulting in a head-on collision with the plaintiff/employee. The plaintiff/employee’s company truck was catapulted across the road, striking a tree. The plaintiff/employee began a course of treatment at the Emergency Room. The plaintiff/employee has not worked since June 30, 2016. Traveler’s Insurance paid Worker’s Compensation benefits to the employee from that date forward, including indemnity benefit and medical bills. In December of 2017, Liberty Mutual tendered a policy limit offer on behalf of their insured. An under insured claim was submitted to Traveler’s Insurance who consented to accept the policy limit offer. An under insured claim ensued from that point forward.
Defense: None exerted by Liberty Mutual or Traveler’s Insurance on the under insured claim except to the extent of a disabling condition.
Injuries: Fairly minimal injuries to the plaintiff/employee’s neck, shoulder and lower extremity. However, plaintiff/employee did sustain a serious back injury initially treated by conservative measures through physical therapy, epidural steroid injections, and some chiropractic treatment. Failing any relief, the plaintiff/employee underwent L4-L5 discectomy and fusion surgery in November of 2017. Post surgery, the plaintiff/employee enjoyed a fair recovery, although he continues to suffer residual symptoms. Of greater concern for the plaintiff/employee is the onset of depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder rendering him essentially incapable of driving or being in a vehicle. From the date of the accident, the plaintiff/employee has been in a vehicle approximately 10 times. Since the injury, the plaintiff rarely leaves his residence, has failed to engage in activities with his family (a wife and three children) and was unable to attend his oldest son’s football games. He continues to receive therapy and will likely continue to do so for at least the next year.
Specials (if any): Medical bills paid by Worker’s Compensation $ 95,000.00
Lost wages and future lost wages exceeding $125,000.00
Verdict/Settlement: Liberty Mutual payment of policy limits $100,000.00
Under-insured Settlement Claim at
Mediation approximately $644,000.00
Including a full waiver of the
Worker’s Compensation Lien of just over $144,000.00
Total Recovery approximately $744,000.00
With net recovery of approximately $600,000.00 exclusive of the lien waiver.
Points of Interest (if any): A global resolution on the underinsured claim/Worker Compensation Lien issue reached at mediation under the directives of Robert Morrill. Waiver of the Worker’s Compensation Lien was critical for the resolution of the matter. Traveler’s requested an Independent Medical Examination completed by Albert Drukteinis, M.D., J.D. who confirmed the PTSD was related to the automobile accident.
Plaintiff’s Experts (if any): Vladimir Sinkov, M.D.
Joanne Luquette, MS
Elise Boudreau, MSN, LICSW
Defense Experts (if any): Albert Drukteinis, M.D., J.D.
Plaintiff’s Counsel (please include name and firm): John A. Wolkowski, Esquire
Backus, Meyer & Branch, LLP
Defense Counsel (please include name and firm):
For Under Insured Claim: Patricia Tskonas, Esquire
For Worker’s Compensation Matter:
Insurance Carrier (if relevant): Traveler’s Insurance, Richard Florino, Esquire
Name of Case/County: In Re Jean and Amy Labossiere and Traveler’s Property
Casualty Company of America
Date of Injury: June 22, 2016
Date of Verdict or Settlement: March 21, 2019