Positional Vertigo and Tinnitus Caused by a Double Impact Rear End Collision in Newtown, Connecticut.
The plaintiff, a Southbury resident, was rear ended in Newtown, Connecticut on Sugar Street at the intersection of Sugar Street and Sugar Lane. The force of the collision caused the plaintiff to be pushed into a stationary motor vehicle. The defendant, a seventeen year old driving his mother's car, admitted that he was distracted by a farm tractor which caused him to fail to keep a proper lookout and rear end the plaintiff. A civil law suit was filed in the Waterbury Superior Court by plaintiff's attorney Peter Rotatori of The Rotatori Law Firm.
Defense counsel admitted negligence but contested causation of the damages and the extent of the personal injuries suffered by the plaintiff. The thrust of the plaintiff's personal injuries were cervical strain and sprain, positional vertigo, tinnitus and the sensation that his ear was blocked and full. The plaintiff treated with a Danbury, Connecticut chiropractic physician Dr. Richard Beck, Danbury neurologist Dr. Samuel Markind and Waterbury, Connecticut ear, nose and throat specialist Dr. Martin Spinella.
The plaintiff worked for a propane company. His job required him to perform propane installation inspections. Post injury, the plaintiff experienced positional vertigo at both work and around his home. He also suffered ear ringing which he likened to the noise made by a propeller on a prop plane. The defense countered that the plaintiff's symptoms were not related to the motor vehicle collision. The defense argued that the plaintiff suffered from preexisting sinus and inner ear infections and that the positional vertigo experienced by the plaintiff was reported "late in the game" related to complaints from a closed MRI performed on the plaintiff at a radiology facility.
The plaintiff's chiropractic physician was extremely helpful in causally relating the plaintiff's vertigo to the accident. He classified the vertigo as cervicogenic vertigo. The plaintiff was assigned a thirteen percent impairment of the whole person under the 5 th Edition of the AMA Guide by his chiropractic physician. Six percent of that impairment was based on the vestibular disorder. The remaining seven percent was based on DRE Cervical Category II impairment. The plaintiff did not suffer any wage loss. The plaintiff was 50 years old and had a 30 year life expectancy under the National Vital Statistics Reports as published by the CDC. The vast majority of the plaintiff's medical special damages were paid under the plaintiff's health insurance coverage.
The case was resolved at a Waterbury Superior Court pretrial before Honorable retired Chief Justice William Sullivan. Justice Sullivan served in his capacity as a State of Connecticut Judge Trial Referee. The case was settled for $85,000.00. This was the recommended settlement figure placed on the case by Justice Sullivan. It took over three years to resolve this case. There was no offer prior to suit. The case was settled after depositions but before trial. The case was investigated by private investigator Lara Kolesnik working on behalf of The Rotatori Law Firm.