Pennsylvania Jury Awards Over $3.6 Million in Damages for Injuries from Rear-End Collision

Chester, Pennsylvania – A Pennsylvania jury recently awarded $3.6 million in damages to Joyce Ferguson, who sustained injuries in a motor vehicle accident on Interstate 95. Despite defense attorneys characterizing the accident as minor, the jury found the case significant enough to warrant a substantial award. The damages included over $1.4 million for pain and suffering, nearly $1.2 million for future medical expenses, almost $730,000 for lost future earnings, and more than $228,000 for past earnings.

Ferguson’s legal team believes this verdict reflects a growing trend of juries in Delaware County and across the state becoming more receptive to granting sizable awards. According to Kevin O’Brien of Stampone O’Brien Dilsheimer Law, “There’s a trend…towards larger verdicts…more commensurate with how the plaintiffs perceive the value in the case.” Lead trial attorney J.B. Dilsheimer added, “I don’t care what county you’re in. You can never discount a good plaintiff.”

The incident occurred in December 2019 when defendant Gregory Benton-Logan rear-ended Ferguson, causing her significant pain and discomfort. Although X-rays did not reveal any fractures, Ferguson visited her primary care physician in January 2020, still complaining of neck and back pain. She underwent physical therapy for about a month until she suffered an unrelated stroke, which temporarily derailed her rehabilitation.

In July 2020, an MRI revealed a fluid-filled cyst, known as a syrinx, in Ferguson’s cervical spine. A neurosurgeon determined that the crash caused the syrinx and recommended a laminectomy and shunt placement. Multiple medical opinions supported the conclusion that the accident worsened Ferguson’s pre-existing degenerative disc disease.

Ferguson’s ongoing symptoms include headaches, as well as back and neck pain. She retired as disabled in March 2022 from a federal government job, where she earned over $100,000 annually at the time of the collision. Experts have stated that she is unable to engage in any form of gainful employment.

Benton-Logan’s defense argued that the accident was minor and that the syrinx was unrelated to the crash. They pointed to MRI results showing no injuries and Ferguson’s history of pre-existing head pain. Additionally, they suggested that Ferguson was exaggerating her symptoms and ability to work.

However, after three days of trial, the jury ruled in favor of Ferguson. Her attorneys emphasized the strength of her case and her direct and honest responses to questions as factors that influenced the verdict. The defendant had $3.3 million in insurance coverage, and the final offer was $150,000.

In conclusion, a Pennsylvania jury awarded Joyce Ferguson over $3.6 million in damages for injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident. Despite defense attorneys downplaying the severity of the collision, the jury found the case significant and sided with Ferguson. This decision aligns with a trend of juries in Delaware County and throughout the state being more willing to grant substantial verdicts.