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Nurse injured in Durham Freeway wreck settles case for $850,000

Nurse injured in Durham Freeway wreck settles case for $850,000

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Defendant-truck driver was driving a 2003 Freightliner tractor pulling an enclosed van semi-trailer north/northwest on N.C. 147 in Durham. Plaintiff Jane Doe, age 60 and an oncology nurse at Duke University Medical Center, was driving her 2000 Toyota Camry on N.C. 147 directly ahead of and in the same direction as the tractor-trailer rig.

Plaintiff slowed to approximately 15 mph as traffic traveling in front of her slowed due to rush-hour traffic congestion. Defendant-driver crashed the tractor-trailer rig into the rear of plaintiff’s car at nearly 50 mph, leaving 132 feet of skid marks before impact. The impact knocked plaintiff’s car off the road, into a ravine and into a tree approximately 268 feet from where the tractor-trailer hit her.

The wreck caused serious injuries to plaintiff, including a fracture of her right femur at the mid-shaft, a fracture of her right trochanter (below the ball of her hip) and facial and leg lacerations.

Plaintiff was transported to Duke Medical Center where she underwent emergency orthopedic and plastic surgery for her injuries, including open reduction/internal fixation of her fractures and irrigation, debridement and complex closure of the large laceration. She later required a revision of this operation after a non-union. Plaintiff has returned to full-time work as an oncology nurse but has a limp which will likely be permanent.


Mediated Settlement Report

Type of action: Trucking accident, personal injury

Injuries alleged: Fracture of right femur at the mid-shaft; fracture of right trochanter (below the ball of the hip); and facial and leg lacerations

Case name: Confidential

Case number: Confidential

Court: Durham County Superior Court

Verdict or settlement: Mediated settlement

Name of mediator: Robert A. Beason

Date: Oct. 19, 2010

Amount: $850,000

Special damages: $161,566 (medical bills); $67,318 (loss of income)   

Insurer: Zurich American Insurance Company

Expert: Steven A. Olson, M.D., treating physician, Duke University Medical Center, Division of Orthopaedic Surgery (Durham)

Has the plaintiff been successful in actually collecting the judgment? Yes the settlement has been paid.

Plaintiff’s attorneys: Donald R. Strickland and Donald H. Beskind of Twiggs, Beskind, Strickland and Rabenau (Raleigh)

Editor’s note: The information in Lawyers Weekly’s verdicts and settlements reports was submitted by the counsel for the prevailing party and represents the attorney’s characterization of the case.

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