Collision With Milk Truck -- Debilitating Migraines

Injuries alleged: Mild traumatic brain injury, cerebral contusion, post-traumatic stress disorder, TMJ, post-traumatic head pain syndrome, post concussive syndrome, fracture nose & ribs, broken teeth & bridgework

Amount of award: $990,000

The 44-year-old plaintiff was involved in a motor vehicle accident with a milk truck.

The plaintiff claimed the accident occurred because the milk truck driver didn't stop at a stop sign.

The plaintiff struck the truck and was thrown forward, striking the dashboard with his face. His chest hit the steering wheel. Shortly after the accident the plaintiff claimed he developed migraine headaches.

The plaintiff returned to work as a department store manager after recovering from his other injuries. However, he claimed that he was forced to stop work in due to his headaches and inability to concentrate.

He saw a doctor specializing in migraines and was treated with psychotherapy and prescription medications. He also underwent a clinical evaluation by a neuropsychologist and was diagnosed with persistent post-concussive syndrome. He eventually underwent a vocational evaluation which stated he was permanently and totally disabled from all employment.

The defendant insurance company denied that the plaintiff sustained a brain injury in the accident. The defense expert witnesses contested the reliability of the neuropsychological testing and argued that medications were inappropriate.

The defense also claimed that the plaintiff's headaches/cognitive impairment did not appear until months after the milk-truck accident, which coincided with the first signs of alleged narcotic-seeking behavior.

The plaintiff was awarded $690,000 in medical expenses, loss of earning capacity and pain/suffering. The arbitrator also awarded $300,000 for the consortium claim for the plaintiff's wife.

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