Jury Awards $13.14 Million Verdict in Auto Accident Case

On December 2, 2021, a jury in Willmar, MN awarded $13.14 million to a car crash victim, represented by Kathleen Flynn Peterson and Robert J. King, Jr.

The plaintiff, a 44-year-old man, was driving his pickup truck on a rural road in southern Minnesota while working.  A truck from a local turkey farm failed to yield the right of way, crashing into him at 30 mph.  He sustained multiple traumatic injuries, including a traumatic brain injury. Though his physical injuries healed without residual disability, he continues to suffer effects of what the treating neuropsychologist described as a mild cognitive impairment without functional impairment.  He returned to fulltime work seven months after the injury.

At trial, the treating neurologist testified that the plaintiff suffers from mild, but permanent, cognitive impairment that may cause progressive decline with aging.  Plaintiffs’ expert opined he was at significant risk for future development of numerous psychiatric and organic conditions, including stress-related illness, depression, anxiety, and mood regulation difficulties. The expert also concluded he was at risk for the development of progressive cognitive decline as he goes through normal aging and, as a result, will not be able to work at the level he did before the injury and attempts to do so may be counterproductive to his neuropsychological health.  Meanwhile, the defense hired a neuropsychologist who opined that, although plaintiff had sustained a moderately severe brain injury, he has recovered with no functional impairment.

The case was continued twice because of COVID. During that time, plaintiffs settled with the primary insurance carrier pretrial, and continued to trial against the excess insurer. The jury awarded past and future general damages and a loss of future earning capacity, among other damages. In addition, the jury awarded past and future loss of consortium damages, claims brought by the plaintiff’s wife.

After a two-day trial, the jury returned a verdict that totaled $13.14 million, including $3.89 million in damages for future bodily and mental harm and $3.9 million for loss of consortium.

“Kathleen and Bob have a long history of helping individuals who have been injured because of negligence,” said Michael V. Ciresi. “They are deeply skilled advocates who have remarkable abilities in connecting with juries. We are thrilled with the result obtained for this client to ensure his needs are met in the future.”

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