Ankesheiln v. USAA

Ankesheiln v. USAA
(March 2009)

Peter Wanek and Thomas P. Anzelmo tried a case in the Civil District Court in New Orleans, LA. The case involved a rear-end auto accident and liability was stipulated to. Representing the Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Carrier (USAA), the defendant argued that the accident was a minor one and could not have caused the serious low back injuries alleged by the plaintiff, and also that the plaintiff’s back complaints, which gradually became worse in the years following the accident, were related to his degenerative disc condition and not the accident. The plaintiff eventually had a two level fusion of the lower two vertebrae in his back and claimed related medical expenses in excess of $200,000. Incidentally, prior to trial, the excess UIM carrier settled two days before trial for $200,000.

In closing, the plaintiff requested that the jury award $1,010,000.00 including approximately $209,000 in medical expenses. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiff but awarded only $47,000 in general damages and $20,000 in past and future medical expenses. USAA had tendered $10,000 prior to trial and with a credit for payment made by the primary carrier ($10,000), the net judgment was $47,000.