Janssen Malloy LLP Obtains $200,000 Settlement for Injured Coast Guard Serviceman

Although some personal injury claims tend to adhere to a pattern, or involve variations on a theme, certain cases present unique challenges that require plaintiffs’ counsel to identify and retain experts in niche areas of the law and then present a compelling claim to the appropriate audience, whether that is insurance defense counsel and a claims representative, an arbitrator, or a jury. Janssen Malloy LLP attorneys Michael Crowley and David Nims recently successfully mediated a personal injury claim for their client, a non-commissioned officer in the United States Coast Guard, who was injured by a negligent, uninsured motorist.

The client suffered a serious injury to his shoulder in the collision that affected his ability to lift and move objects above his head, impeding his activities of daily living at home and threatening his ongoing Coast Guard career. Unfortunately for the presentation of the client’s case to his own insurer, his medical and personnel file maintained by the Coast Guard was as clear as mud about his prognosis and how his chain of command might deal with the shoulder injury. A civilian orthopedic surgeon recommended, in no uncertain terms, that the client should undergo shoulder repair surgery. However, upon receiving that report, rather than place the client on light duty and schedule surgery, Coast Guard Medical ordered him transferred to a new assignment on the East Coast.

With relatively little in the way of paid medical expenses, the case did not fit neatly into an insurance algorithm. Janssen Malloy LLP retained several experts, including Emma Shinn, a former enlisted Marine who provided a report that explained and clarified the client’s impossible position: he could continue in the status quo, working through severe shoulder pain until, as predicted by his civilian orthopedic surgeon, his shoulder deteriorated to the point where surgical intervention was absolutely unavoidable, or attempt to force the issue with Coast Guard Medical and risk medical separation from the Coast Guard prior to his pension vesting. Ultimately, the client’s insurer settled the client’s claim for $200,000, an excellent result given the uncertainty surrounding future events in the client’s medical treatment and resulting effects on his continued career with the Coast Guard.