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Case Example: An Accident Triggers a Genetic Condition

Posted on May 15, 2017

Sometimes, the results of an accident are obvious, such as with a broken leg from a slip and fall. In other instances, it takes an experienced personal injury attorney to help form a strong case. That is what happened in a low-speed, low-impact trucking accident that didn’t seem to cause any traumatic injury. Yet the plaintiff soon became permanently disabled.

In Mathis v. Exel Inc., Willie Mathis sought damages for lost wages and medical expenses due to injuries that he sustained as a result of a collision in the Home Depot cargo facility yard. At the time, he was driving a tractor without its trailer when another driver hit the vehicle. There was only $750 in damage to the tractor, but Mathis was jolted severely in the cab, triggering a genetic condition he didn’t know he had—ankylosing spondylitis.

Ankylosing spondylitis is a form of genetically predisposed arthritis that causes some of the vertebrae in the spine to fuse. There is no cure for the disease, which causes severe chronic pain and discomfort. Mathis went from participating in scuba diving, karate and truck driving to walking with a cane and receiving over 150 Lydocaine injections in his spine.

The defense argued that there was no evidence of traumatic injury in X-rays or MRI studies. However, Duffy + Partners attorneys brought in expert witnesses who shared research and established that this genetic condition can be triggered by an accident. On the fourth day of a Philadelphia Common Pleas Court trial, Mathis agreed to a $3,750,000 settlement.

It’s possible that you or someone you know has suffered a similar type of personal injury in Philadelphia. To build the strongest case, consider contacting a law firm with consistent, multimillion dollar results.