Recent Verdicts & Settlements
Every Case Is Unique
Beware. Motorcycles Are Everywhere: Car hits motorcycle results in $900,000 settlement
Description: A van broadsided a motorcyclist when he failed to stop at stop sign. The result of impact caused multiple body fractures for the motorcycle driver including; ulnar fracture, vertebral compression fracture and comminuted fracture (broken into pieces) with angulated fractured fragment displacing the nerve root. He was unable to work, had difficulty bending, squatting and lifting nor could he walk for any length of time, therefore he was unable to regain his normal life activities. This individual was a mobile marine mechanic and his job required constant bending, lifting and squatting on a daily basis. He had no prior issues within his medical history, he was married, had a family, owned a home. Until the car crash.
Legal Issue(s): Attorney Snow’s job was to determine the client’s residual earnings capacity, meaning could he go back to work, and if so, it’s affect on the loss of earnings calculation. In this case, Attorney Snow had to prove whether or not he could have invasive surgery for removal of angulated fragments and if this would alleviate cord impingement and result in a return of function. And if so, how this would affect any residual earnings capacity calculation.
Outcome: The expert opinion confirmed that surgical intervention would not guarantee a favorable medical result. The client took a lump sum payment and a structured settlement with monthly payment commencing in 2022, the age of his age of expected retirement.
Injured motorcyclist awarded $740,000: Largest New Bedford, MA plaintiff verdict of 2010
Description: A motorcycle driver was hit by an inexperienced operator while making a pizza delivery. The delivery driver said a big truck turned in front of him and he couldn’t see the motorcyclist.
The pizza shop was incorporated under two entities but only one of the entities carried liability insurance for delivery drivers. The delivery driver was hired by and worked for the entity that did not have separate liability insurance. These two entities shared resources including suppliers and supplies, employees, accountants, bankers and insurers, and corporate officers.
The delivery driver’s account of the accident details was inconsistent.
There was question about whether the liability coverage extended to the corporate entity who was uninsured. Under an “alter ego” liability and/or a corporate disregard concerning the formation of the second entity, it was argued that the insurance coverage extended to one corporation should therefore extend to the pizza delivery driver employed by the other corporation.
Attorney Snow sued both pizza places under ‘the corporate alter ego liability theory’. He alleged that because the two corporations shared resources and the owners failed to maintain separate corporate identities they were really one and the same corporation. The insurance agency providing the liability insurance was also sued for not including both corporations on the policy and/or for not requiring two separate delivery riders.
The case went to trial in the New Bedford Superior Court and resulted in the largest plaintiffs verdict in 2010. There were also pending declaratory judgement actions aimed at forcing the insurer to extend coverage to the uninsured corporation.
Wrongful death of autistic man warrants $387,500
Description: A young autistic man residing in a group home was rushed to the emergency room because he was suffering from a severe discoloration of his thighs and a body temperature of 92 degrees as a result from a bowel obstruction. The emergency room physician confirmed his condition had taken place over a long period of time, not a quick onset. The group home should have discovered this much sooner to avoid the deterioration of his condition which ultimately led to his death.
Legal Issue(s): The limitations set forth in the Massachusetts wrongful death statute relating to “loss of reasonably expected net income” and a claim involving an individual who was unable to engage in gainful employment.
Outcome: Notwithstanding jury verdicts in comparable cases, this case settled for $387,500. A condition of the settlement required the group home to apologize to the parents of the child with development disabilities.
Woman with a rare, pre-existing progressive neurological disorder receives $210,000
Description: A woman with complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), formerly known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) was in an auto accident caused by another driver.
Legal Issue(s): The insurance company won’t pay claiming she had a pre-existing condition. Attorney Snow represents insurance companies and knows how they strategize. Due to previous experience he is also familiar with this complex medical condition. Attorney Snow worked closely with his client’s doctor in order to prove, without a doubt, that the auto accident caused by the other driver was directly related to and did in fact exacerbate her CRPS condition.
Outcome: The case was scheduled for court but the insurance company settled – a year early – and agreed to pay 1.5 times the average.