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            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, Esquire. 

            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 video [Click 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 $1.7 million.  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 play.

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 medical care. 


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