On October 28, 2010, a trial decision was released in Carr v. Simpson. Ms. Carr was injured when Mr. Simpson likely fell asleep at the wheel and hit her vehicle. She suffered a number of injuries and psychological consequences:
- Neck/upper back/trapezius: bilateral, with pain and tingling across the back, shoulders, and down the arms with poor chances of full recovery.
- Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, with surgery not recommended as a remedy.
- Periodic (once every two weeks) incapacitating headaches, causing nausea and vomiting which would probably continue indefinitely.
- Injury to right hand and wrist for which surgery was not entirely successful.
- Meniscus tear to the right knee with surgery two years after injury which was successful.
- Low back pain and right hip flexor which was likely permanent.
- A major depressive disorder of moderate severity.
- the plaintiff’s age;
- the nature of the injury;
- the severity and duration of pain;
- emotional suffering;
- loss or impairment of life;
- impairment of family, marital, and social relationships;
- impairment of physical and mental abilities;
- loss of lifestyle; and
- stoicism (as a factor for which the plaintiff should not be penalized).
After considering all the injuries and the above-noted factors, the trial judge awarded Ms. Carr $100,000 for pain and suffering.
We are often faced with allegations of secondary motive when representing people with permanent physical and/or psychological issues. This case demonstrates that judges will not readily accept that people are being consciously or subconsciously dishonest about the nature and extent of their injuries.