Heymann & Fletcher
April 05, 2021

Recent Settlment for Morris County Client

Practice Area: Decisions | Tag:

We recently settled a case on behalf of a client who had been involved in a motor vehicle accident that left him with a damaged shoulder. Learn more about how we accomplished attaining a monetary settlement for this client in the following decision explanation.

Facts & Allegations

On June 7, 2016, plaintiff Alvin Paniagua, 41, was driving north on Enterprise Drive, at its intersection with Mount Pleasant Avenue, in Dover. As Paniagua entered the intersection, the driver's side of his vehicle was struck by the front of a vehicle. The other vehicle had been driving on Mount Pleasant Avenue and drove through a red light. Paniagua claimed an injury to his shoulder.

Paniagua sued the driver, Hector Oliveros. The lawsuit alleged that Oliveros was negligent in the operation of a vehicle. Paniagua also sued his insurer, Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. He sought to recover his underinsured-motorist policy of $100,000. Earlier in litigation, Oliveros' insurer tendered its policy, which provided $15,000 of coverage.

Injuries/Damages

decreased range of motion; arm; brachial plexus; shoulder impingement; arthroscopy; decompression surgery; SLAP lesion/tear; rotator cuff, injury (tear); physical therapy; glenoid labrum, tear. Paniagua was ultimately diagnosed with a tear of the left glenoid labrum, a SLAP lesion, and left shoulder impingement.

Due to lack of health insurance, Paniagua only treated with a brief course of physical therapy in the ensuing weeks of the accident. It was determined early on that Paniagua required shoulder surgery. On Jan. 29, 2020, Paniagua underwent an arthroscopy and decompression of his left shoulder. Following the surgery, he treated with physical therapy. Paniagua alleged that he continues to suffer from a limited range of motion in his left shoulder. He sought damages for past and future pain and suffering.

The defense's expert in orthopedic surgery, in his report, opined that Paniagua achieved an excellent functional outcome as a result of the surgery, with no residual issues.

Result

The parties negotiated a pretrial settlement. Liberty Mutual agreed to pay $85,000 from a policy that provided $100,000 of coverage.