Passenger in Rear-End Crash Suffers ACL and Rotator Cuff Tears; $85,736 Jury Verdict

On June 27, 2009, Michael Gibson was a back-seat passenger in a car that was rear-ended by defendant Louise Damen at LaGrange Road (Route 45) and Interstate 80 in Will County, Ill.  Gibson, 18, maintained that the impact caused his left knee to hit the console inside the car, tearing his left anterior cruciate ligament. Gibson also claimed a torn right rotator cuff in his right shoulder and neck injuries.  He underwent arthroscopic knee surgery and later an interior cruciate ligament graft reconstruction/repair surgery, and is at increased risk of future injury to the knee.

Two other persons in the Gibson vehicle were injured and also sued but took a non-suit on the day of trial.

The defendant Damen,  64, argued that Gibson did not seek treatment until two days after the crash. She also said doctors who examined his knee within days of the accident found it to be stable without swelling or any signs of ACL tear. Damen said an MRI taken less than one month post-accident showed an intact ACL, but only a possible meniscus tear.

In addition, the defendant argued that the ACL tear was not caused by the collision, but occurred after the MRI and before the repair surgery.  Furthermore, the defendant maintained that the shoulder injury was consistent with a contusion and would heal on its own. 

Defendant offered evidence that the arthroscopic surgery that was done on the plaintiff’s knee revealed that the meniscus of Gibson’s knee was not torn.

The jury found in favor of Gibson, assessing damages at $85,336 in the following fashion:

$74,736 for medical expenses;

$5,000 for pain and suffering; and

$6,000 for loss of normal life.

The demand made before trial by Gibson’s attorney, Paul K. Hanna, was $100,000.  The jury was asked to return a verdict of $265,000. Before trial, the defendant Damen offered $30,000 to settle the case.

Michael Gibson v. Louise Damen, No. 10 L 245 (Will County, Illinois).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling automobile accidents, truck crashes and motorcycle accidents for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of another for more than 37 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Bellwood, Arlington Heights, Crystal Lake, Evanston, Highwood, Inverness, Chicago (Jackson Park), Calumet City, Rosemont, Libertyville, Longview and Des Plaines, Ill.

Related blog posts:

$10,000 Cook County Jury Verdict in Intersection Crash Causing Aggravation of Herniated Disc

$278,000 Jury Verdict in Three Car Rear-Ender Causing Torn Hip Labrum

Good Faith Settlement Tested in Illinois Appellate Court