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Car Accidents - Verdicts & Settlements

Monday, August 23, 2004
Page 27 PLW 956

UIM Claim Settles in Arbitration

Pasco v. Met Life Auto and Home $550,000 Arbitration Award

Date of Arbitration:
June 14, 2004
Board of Arbitrators:

Jacqueline Musto Carroll, Pittston (plaintiff's arbitrator); James J. Wilson, Scranton (defense arbitrator); and J. Timothy Hinton, Scranton (neutral arbitrator).

Type of Action:

Underinsured motorist claim arbitration.

Aggravation of pre-existing degenerative disc disease.

Plaintiffs Attorney:
David A. Aikens Jr., Hourigan Kluger & Quinn, Kingston.

Defense Attorney:
Maureen Jordan, Post & Schell, Allentown.

Plaintiffs Experts:
Carl R. Steindel, M.D., orthopedic surgery, Scranton; Kenneth W. Gentilezza, M.D., physiatry, Scranton; Richard E. Fischbein, M.D., psychiatry, Wilkes-Barre; S. Ross Noble, D.O.,. orthopedics, .Reading; Patricia Chilleri, rehabilitation, Kingston.

Defense Experts:
David R. Cooper, M.D., orthopedic surgery, Wilkes-Barre; John H. Presper, M.D., neurosurgery, Wilkes-Barre; Robert W. Mauthe, physiatry, Quakertown; Timothy J. Michals, M.D., psychiatry, Philadelphia; William Walker, vocational expert, Scranton; David T. Bunin, ES.A, C.L.U., actuarial economic . consultants, Wynnewood.

John Pasco, 58, was driving in Taylor, Lackawanna County, on a two-way street on Oct. 29, 2000, when his vehicle was struck head-on by another automobile propelled forward by a rear-end collision, according to his attorney, David A. Aikens Jr. The impact forced Pasco's vehicle to swerve off the road, striking a concrete storm drain and causing the plaintiff injuries.

As a result of the collision, Aikens said, Pasco's treating physician diagnosed him with aggravation of his pre-existing degenerative disc disease of the cervical and lum-bar spine. His third-party insurance cover-age provided $100,000 in coverage.

Aikens claimed that Pasco's injury rendered him permanently disabled and. pre-vented him from resuming his former job as an auto mechanic and car repair shop owner. Defense attorney Maureen Jordan contended that Pasco was not permanently disabled and could perform light and sedentary activity, such as customer service in his car repair shop.

The parties took the matter to arbitration with a panel of three arbitrators. During the arbitration session, the arbitrators awarded $500,000 to Pasco. According to Jordan, Met Life was entitled to a credit of $100,000 from his original tortfeasor, molding the payment to $400,000.

PLEASE NOTE: Every case is fact specific, and these results do not guaranty the same results will be obtained in a different case.