West Palm Beach, FL— Attorneys Thursday debated the injuries a Florida man suffered in a rollover crash, as trial opened in person against State Farm over how much it should pay for the wreck. Thompson v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. 2019-CA-015823.
Michael Thompson was 21 when an SUV hit the pickup truck he was driving for his employer. The April 2019 crash, on Haverhill Road in Palm Beach County, rolled Thompson’s Ford F150 onto its hood and sent it into a utility pole.
Thompson says the wreck left him with long-standing back and knee injuries. According to the complaint in the case, Thompson placed a claim against State Farm, the insurer of the employer’s truck, under the policy’s uninsured/underinsured driver coverage.
During Thursday’s openings, Thompson’s attorney, The Berman Law Group’s Joseph Stallone, showed a photo of the wreck as he detailed the injuries he says Thompson suffered in the rollover, including a herniated disc and a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in his knee.
Stallone told jurors Thompson has already undergone an ACL replacement. He added that experts have concluded Thompson will likely need a complete knee replacement in the future, well as surgery to treat his back issues.
“Because it’s not going to go away,” Stallone said. “And it’s only going to get worse as time goes on.”
But State Farm argues Thompson’s injuries are largely unrelated to the collision. During Thursday’s openings, Nicholas Maniotis, of Flanagan & Maniotis, P.A., said Thompson was examined and released from the hospital immediately following the accident, with no finding of serious injuries.
And Maniotis added that, while Thompson was diagnosed with a back strain later, he did not complain of knee problems until weeks after the crash.
"The truth lies in the medicine,” Maniotis said, ”not in revisionary history.”
The proceeding features safety measures that have become common in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Attorneys delivered their openings through masks to a socially distanced jury wearing face coverings, while testimony comes from a plexiglass-fronted witness stand.
Trial in the case is expected to last about 5 days. CVN is streaming the trial live, gavel-to-gavel, and will provide continued coverage via its news page.
Email Arlin Crisco at email@example.com.
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