Jordan Law recently obtained a Federal
Court verdict for a young woman who was denied the compensation she needed
for nearly six years. In the face of a multi-billion dollar corporation,
our law firm helped her recover the money she deserved.
Six years ago, an uninsured driver rear-ended 19-year-old Samantha “Sami”
S., who was driving to pick up her boyfriend at an airport. Sami was on
a full-ride soccer scholarship to the University of South Dakota when
the accident occurred. In the accident, Sami sustained abrasions and lacerations
on her face, resulting in five stiches.
Sami’s parents had two million dollars in uninsured motorist coverage
through American Family Insurance, which meant the insurance provider
would cover any medical expenses caused by an uninsured motorist.
The following day, Sami’s parents noticed that she seemed confused
and repeated herself on the phone – clear signs of a concussion.
While Sami does not remember the weeks following the accident, she sought
medical help from the hospital, where a CT scan revealed nothing about
Following the accident, Sami experienced neck pain but continued playing
soccer. Radiologists eventually conducted an MRI, which also came back
negative. She was told her that neck injuries need time to heal, and she
should be patient.
Sami sought help from another doctor, a neurosurgeon. This doctor disagreed
with the findings on the MRI that was conducted a year and half earlier.
He conducted additional testing – a discogram. The test revealed
a tear in a disc in Sami’s neck (C5-6) which had been leaking fluid
into the epidural space toward her spinal cord. Doctors recommended an
artificial disc replacement.
American Family Insurance offered no money to Sami to resolve her injuries.
After filing a lawsuit against American Family, the insurance provider
offered, $50,000 followed by and offer of $100,000, knowing that it would
not even cover the full expenses of Sami’s surgery. Sami eventually
used a finance company to pay for the medical treatment she needed and
was determined to see her lawsuit through to trial if need be, and she
would pay the finance company back, after the jury found in her favor.
For years, American Family refused to provide the money Sami needed to
cover her medical procedure, even hiring “expert” orthopedic
surgeons and neurosurgeons to show that she did not injure her neck in
the car accident, or otherwise, did not need surgery.
In 2014, Sami underwent surgery to fix her injury. Our firm requested the
doctors to conduct a video recording of the operation. During the procedure,
the protective coating surrounding the spinal cord tore, allowing fluid
into the area the surgeon was working.
The medical documentation was clear, and 100%. If Sami had received medical
attention sooner, this tear would not have happened. Because the insurance
company refused to provide the coverage it promised, the annular tear
in Sami’s neck was left unattended, resulting in calcification and
adherence of the dura (which coats the spinal cord) and resulted in a
tear, and thus further complications during her surgery. Thankfully, this
was on video.
Jordan Law brought Sami’s case
before a 10 person jury, which understood the connection between Sami’s
injury and her accident several years before. The jury ultimately found
that American Family Insurance delayed or denied the coverage Sami needed
without a reasonable cause.
Including statutory interest and penalties, the final judgement should
total approximately $2.5 million.