Lawrenceville, GA – A medical student was awarded $300,000 by a jury for knee injuries sustained in a car accident last year. Mary Katherine Grimes, the plaintiff, claimed that her knee injuries required surgery and therapy, greatly impacting her daily life. The accident occurred when Stephen Nemeth IV ran a red light and collided with Grimes’ car at an intersection near Kennesaw State University in Georgia.
The recent verdict in Gwinnett County’s State Court concluded a three-day trial focused solely on determining the damages caused by the collision. Nemeth acknowledged his fault in the crash.
During the trial, Lori Brennan, Nemeth’s attorney, argued that Grimes’ knee issues were unrelated to the accident. Brennan claimed that Grimes’ athletic background and pre-existing congenital problems led to the degeneration in her knees. She cited evidence suggesting that Grimes’ knee problems were caused by patella alta, a condition that results in the knee cap riding higher up the femur, causing mechanical problems and degeneration.
Contrarily, Bethany Schneider, Grimes’ attorney from Schneider Injury Law, contested the defense’s claims. She disputed the existence of patella alta in Grimes’ case and emphasized testimony from Grimes’ treating physician, who attributed her knee injuries to the accident. Schneider argued that the cracks seen in Grimes’ knee tissue were a result of acute trauma, not wear-and-tear over the years.
Schneider pointed out that Grimes began experiencing knee pain immediately after the accident, providing strong evidence of the accident’s causal role. Schneider requested damages totaling just over $1.6 million.
Following the verdict, Schneider expressed mixed feelings, as the awarded amount was five times higher than the highest settlement offer from the insurance company defending the claim. Schneider mentioned the limited time for voir dire and the restrictions on questions regarding pain and suffering as potential factors that influenced the jury’s decision to award a lower amount for damages. She and Grimes’ other attorney, Peter Bricks, were reportedly considering an appeal.
The verdict stands as a “Congratulations” to Grimes, although not meeting the expectations of Schneider. It is important to note that a claim on a $100,000 liability policy had been settled before the trial.
In conclusion, a jury awarded $300,000 to a medical student, Mary Katherine Grimes, for knee injuries sustained in a car accident caused by Stephen Nemeth IV running a red light. Despite the defendant claiming her knee issues were unrelated to the accident, Grimes’ attorney argued that the injuries were a direct result of the collision. The awarded amount was higher than the insurer’s highest settlement offer but fell short of the requested damages. The possibility of an appeal is currently being considered.