BRAIN INJURY CLAIM REJECTED BY DELAWARE
– LUCAS AND CAVALIER, LLC
A Delaware County Court of Common
Pleas, Pennsylvania, jury recently returned
a verdict in favor of the defense as it
relates to the traumatic brain injury, and
associated substantial economic loss claim
advanced in Yanni-Brown v. Clark.
The case was defended by Robert M.
Cavalier, Esquire and David B. Pizzica,
The trial concerned an admitted
liability case resulting from a head on
automobile accident which caused the
plaintiff to sustain a knee injury and
related surgery, and alleged traumatic brain
injury resulting in substantial economic
loss for wages and future medical care, as
well as pain and suffering.
Over defense objections, plaintiff
presented the jury with extremely graphic
Here To View]
recreation presentations of the accident and
alleged mechanism of brain injury.
The plaintiff, a 28 year tenured
in-house attorney employee of Travelers
Insurance, with no remarkable history,
alleged she lost her job due to a decline in
her performance and advanced a wage loss
claim, including fringe benefits and house
hold services ranging from $1.4 million to
Additionally, plaintiff’s future
medical care claim exceeded $400,000.
The defense focused on the fact the
plaintiff lost her job due to a reduction in
force by her employer, and her performance,
while it declined to the lowest amongst her
peers, remained more than adequate to
continue with the job.
The defense also focused on the early
medical records which were inconsistent with
the diagnostic criteria for a concussion.
Additionally, the defense highlighted
the remarkable normal findings, which were
pervasive in the neuropsychological testing.
Finally, extensive cross-examination
occurred of Michael Martin Cohen, M.D.,
plaintiff’s treating neurologist, with the
aid of peer review literature to support the
proposition the overwhelming majority of
individuals who sustain a mild traumatic
brain injury (concussion), resume full
activity within 90 days.
Additionally, defense counsel
obtained a concession from Dr. Cohen that
the majority of individuals who do not
recover within the usual course, are most
often in litigation, and research suggests
secondary gain factors of litigation are at
After 3 ½ hours of deliberation following a
week-long trial, the jury awarded a very
modest award for pain and suffering and
future medical care, solely related to the
issue of the knee. The award clearly
demonstrated the jury’s wholesale rejection
of the traumatic brain injury claim, and
associated economic loss.
The case resolved consistent with the
jury verdict and no appeal was taken.
Our firm has developed considerable
experience and expertise in handling
traumatic brain injury cases, as well as
substantial future economic loss claims for