I spent this morning in the District Court of Maryland for Anne Arundel County trying a personal injury case where my client was injured in a car accident.
This was a contested liability case, with somewhat interesting facts. The defendant crossed a median strip, two lanes of travel, a front yard, and a curb before crashing into my client’s car where she was stopped at a stop sign on an intersecting street. His defense lawyer from Progressive Insurance argued the accident was not the defendant’s fault because he had recently begun taking the medication Lyrica, which caused him to “blackout” and lose control of his car.
For some reason, he did not have this reaction the first three days he took the medication. But that can happen. Who knows what triggers the side effects of these drugs? You never can tell what causes the reaction.
But here is the deal killer for him. He also went out driving alone despite knowing that the patient information sheet for the drug states “[d]o not drive a car, work with machines, or do other dangerous activities until you know how Lyrica affects how alert you are.” There was no medical documentation that the medication affected the defendant’s driving.
My client suffered a concussion, a neck strain, and a shoulder injury. She was treated by her primary care doctor and the orthopedist he referred her to. The court’s verdict was $15,000.00, including my client’s $6,000.00 in medical bills and $1,200.00 in lost wages. Progressive Insurance’s last settlement offer was $11,500.00.
This was a good result, and an interesting case to try.
Note: This post was written by John Bratt, a former associate a Miller & Zois.
- This post was written over 10 years ago. Progressive was a difficult insurance company then, and it is a difficult insurance company now. We explain why Progressive is difficult on our website.