Jury Finds No Serious injury Despite Plaintiff Undergoing Lumbar Fusion Surgery

Kristin L. Norfleet, Esq., secured a defense verdict after a week-long trial in Onondaga County Supreme Court before the Honorable Donald A. Greenwood, J.S.C. Plaintiff, represented by three attorneys from Williams Mattar P.C., claimed she sustained a serious injury after a minor accident on 690 eastbound. While plaintiff underwent lumbar fusion less than 30 days after the accident, medical records revealed she had been actively treating for low back symptoms for the better part of two decades. Both plaintiff’s treating spine surgeon and defendant’s medical expert causally related the surgery to the motor vehicle accident, at least in part because of their mistaken belief that plaintiff had not experienced radicular symptoms in her left leg prior to the motor vehicle accident. However plaintiff’s medical records were replete with references to left leg pain, weakness and radicular symptoms and both physicians readily admitted plaintiff’s lumbar fusion addressed severe foraminal stenosis which had been present on MRI films dating back to at least 2005. During closing arguments plaintiff’s attorney’s asked the jury to find plaintiff had sustained a serious injury in the 90/180 days, significant limitation of use and permanent consequential limitation of use categories and to award plaintiff $725,000 for her pain and suffering. The jury returned to the courtroom in less than two hours with a unanimous defense verdict of no serious injury.

My name is Ellen Pares. I am a Senior Litigation Adjuster working for Kemper – A Unitrin Business. I have 35 years of claim handling experience and have handled personal and commercial lines including worker’s compensation both as a supervisor and as an adjuster.   I have had many years of experience working with various defense firms and attorneys including Smith Sovik Kendrick & Sugnet and specifically with Kristin Norfleet, of this firm.  My experience with Kristin has always been positive.  I find that Kristin is always pleasant, and cooperative but more importantly, she always does an excellent job of defending her clients/our insureds.  She is quickly responsive, has excellent defense strategies and this generally results in very good resolutions.  I am pleased with this firm’s work and would recommend them.

Ellen Pares
Senior Litigation Adjuster
Kemper – A Unitrin Business