$275,000 Settement

Personal Injury / Car Accident

Senior Settles Rear-End Collision Case, Company Driver Distracted by Can on Floorboard

Venue: Jackson County Circuit Court

Case Number/Date: 1116-CV23685/September 21, 2012

Judge: Jack Grate

Caption: Mary Ortez v. McDaniel Furnace & Sheet Metal, Inc. and Christopher Collins

Insurer: America First Insurance Company

Plaintiff's Attorney: James Montee, Montee Law Firm, P.C., St. Joseph, MO

Defendants' Attorney: Daniel Bell, Law Offices of Stephanie Warmund, Kansas City

Plaintiff's Experts: Dr. James Stuckmeyer, Lee's Summit (orthopedics); Bernard Abrams, Overland Park, KS (neurologist)

Defendants' Experts: Edward Prostic, Mission, KS (orthopedics)

Mediator: Mike Igoe, Liberty

Kansas City, Missouri auto accident attorney James Montee has reached a settlement on behalf of his client for injuries received in a Missouri automobile accident.

An 83-year-old widow agreed to accept a settlement in the amount of $275,000 from a local business after she was rear-ended by a company service repairman driving between jobs.

On June 15, 2011, Mary Ortez was driving her son to the local grocery store on Missouri 78. Following Ms. Ortez in a 2000 Ford Ranger was Christopher Collins, a service repairman for McDaniel Furnace & Sheet Metal. Collins felt an industrial spray can rolling around the floorboard near his foot and reached down to pick the can up. While looking away from the road, Collins struck the rear of Ortez's vehicle which was slowing to turn into the store. Ortez's vehicle was pushed over the curb and into a tree.

Mary Ortez suffered injuries to her thoracolumbar spine with evidence of compression fractures and evidence of a nondisplaced pedicle fracture as well as a sacral fracture. Ortez was admitted to Centerpoint Hospital for seven days and then transferred to a rehab facility for five more days. On discharge Ortez wore a TLSO brace.

Ortez subsequently underwent lumbar epidural injections. In April 2012, Ortez underwent vertebroplasty for her lumbar compression fractures.

The parties attempted mediation and agreed to a settlement a few weeks after the mediation. Mary Ortez and her family were relieved that the lawsuit was resolved and left her to enjoy the settlement with her children, grandchildren and great grandkids.