A woman injured in a rear-end traffic accident will take home an award of just $7,000.
Sonja Callaway was a passenger in a stopped vehicle that was struck by a southbound 2008 Acura on Missouri Route 13 in Higginsville.
Callaway alleged that she suffered whiplash in the January 2019 crash and sustained injuries to the head, neck, shoulders and back. The case went to trial against defendant motorist Fredy Omar Bermudez. A company for whom Bermudez allegedly acted as an agent was initially named in the suit but was ultimately dismissed.
According to a description provided by defense attorneys David Buchanan and Taylor Connolly of Brown & James, the 28-year-old plaintiff presented evidence of nearly $63,000 in past medical treatment and cited a future life care plan detailing more than $1.1 million necessary for future care.
However, the attorneys said, jurors took just 90 minutes to return their verdict. The award was increased after trial to $9,802.78 to reflect the plaintiff’s taxable costs.
Eryn Peddicord and Ari Rodopoulos of Peddicord Law, who represented Callaway, did not return a request for comment.
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Motor vehicle collision
Breakdown: $7000 verdict, $2,802.78 in costs
Venue: Lafayette County Circuit Court
Case Number/Date: 20LF-CV00154/Nov. 10, 2022
Judge: Dennis Rolf
Special Damages: $62,904.10 incurred in past medical treatment, $1,108,339.00 life care plan
Last Pretrial Demand: $390,000
Last Pretrial Offer: $225,000
Plaintiff’s Experts: Howard Aks, Kansas City (medical); Cori Ingram, Basehor, Kansas (life care planning); William Schnick (biomechanical)
Defendant’s Experts: Harold Hess, Overland Park, Kansas (medical); Valentina Ngai, Chicago (biomechanical)
Caption: Sonja Callaway v. Fredy Bermudez
Plaintiff’s Attorneys: Eryn Peddicord and Ari Rodopoulos, Peddicord Law, Odessa
Defendant’s Attorneys: David Buchanan and Taylor Connolly, Brown & James, Kansas City