$600,000 SETTLEMENT IN HERNIATED DISK CASE
Michelle M. Quinn
PENNSYLVANIA LAW WEEKLY
Volume XXIII, Number 43
Copyright 2000 by American Lawyer Media, ALM LLC
October 23, 2000
Verdicts and Settlements
BURKHART V. ERIE INSURANCE EXCHANGE $600,000 SETTLEMENT
Date of Verdict or Settlement: N/A
Court and Case Number: N/A
Type of Action: Underinsured motorist arbitration.
Injuries: Left C6-7 disk herniation and C5-6 protrusion.
Plaintiff(s) Attorney(s): Michelle N. Quinn, Hourigan Kluger & Quinn, Wilkes-Barre.
Defense Attorney(s) : N/A
Plaintiff(s) Expert(s): Albert Janerich, M.D.; Andrew Verzilli, Ph.D.; Patricia Chilleri, M.S.
Defense Expert(s) : N/A
Marlene Burkhart, a 51-year-old clerk and stenographer for the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement, was injured when the third-party tortfeasor struck the rear quarter panel of her vehicle while attempting to switch lanes on June 9, 1997 in Kingston, Pennsylvania.
At the scene of the accident, Burkhart said she believed she was "merely shaken" and refused medical treatment. When she returned to work the following week, Burkhart developed increased cervical discomfort and was examined by her family physician. Burkhart was referred to an orthopedic consultation. A cervical MRI revealed a left C6-7 disk herniation and a C5-6 cervical protrusion. Although advised to undergo a cervical diskectomy, Burkhart elected to continue conservative treatment in the form of physical therapy and trigger-point injections.
Burkhart attempted to return to work on two separate occasions during the summer of 1997. She received sick pay and first-party lost income benefits for seven months. Burkhart then returned to work on a part-time basis for approximately one year prior to accepting early retirement in March 1999. Burkhart settled her third-party action against Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. for $100,000 and then proceeded with a UIM claim against Erie Insurance Exchange. Erie has now tendered its $600,000 policy limits with respect to Burkhart s policy and Burkhart is pursuing a second layer of UIM coverage in the amount of $300,000.
PLEASE NOTE: Every case is fact specific, and these results do not guaranty the same results will be obtained in a different case.
About Hourigan, Kluger & Quinn, PC
Hourigan, Kluger & Quinn is considered one of the top civil litigation and commercial law firms in Northeastern Pennsylvania. The firm’s Personal Injury Team has won some of the largest verdicts and settlements in the region's history and was recently recognized for one of the top 20 Verdicts in Pennsylvania.
The Personal Injury Team, led by Attorney Joseph A. Quinn, Jr. focuses on a wide array of personal injury claims and civil litigation, including medical malpractice, auto and truck accidents, aviation accidents, unsafe vehicles, dangerous or defective products, workplace injuries (worker's compensation), construction site accidents, claim denials by insurance companies, dangerous drugs, defective children's products, nursing home abuse and neglect, and falls due to unsafe conditions (slip and fall).
Attorney Joseph A. Quinn, Jr. is one of only 100 attorneys in the United States (and one of only three in Pennsylvania) honored with membership in the Inner Circle of Trial Advocates, and one of only 500 attorneys worldwide chosen to be a Fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. He has been a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer every year since the program began and has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America every year since the publication was established in 1987. Best Lawyers also named him top personal injury attorney for Northeastern Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley. In addition, Best Lawyers, in conjunction with U.S. News & World Report, has designated HKQ a Tier 1 Best Law Firm for personal injury and medical malpractice litigation in Northeastern Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley.
Since the inception of the firm, the Commercial / Corporate Team led by Attorney Allan Kluger has provided comprehensive, integrated legal services to many of Northeastern and Eastern Pennsylvania's largest corporations, businesses, banks, non-profits and institutions, handling matters involving labor and employment, wills, trusts and estate planning, estate administration, elder law, commercial transactions, residential and commercial real estate, zoning, land use and development, telecommunications, mediations and arbitrations, commercial litigation, title insurance, business planning and business succession, corporate/business structuring, employment discrimination law for employers, banking, creditor’s rights, finance, lender liability defense, covenants not to compete, construction law, mergers and acquisitions and other business matters.
Additional information can be found at www.HKQLaw.com or by calling (800) 760-1529.