Insurance Company's Refusal to Settle Claim Results in $1.8 Million Verdict for Injured Teen who has Permanent Damage in Her Neck

Insurance Company's Refusal to Settle Claim Results in $1.8 Million Verdict for Injured Teen who has Permanent Damage in Her Neck

On June 21, 2017, a Sussex County jury returned a $1.8m verdict to a young woman with a permanent spinal injury. Alexis Mongiello of Sparta, now 24, was a front seat passenger in a car on the night of November 9, 2012. She was on the way to pick up her boyfriend who was returning home on leave from the Marines. The car was stopped at a red light on Route 23 in Butler, when Gabrielle Gallagher drove her car into the rear of Alexis’. After the crash, Alexis felt immediate pain in her neck and was taken to the hospital by ambulance. She has treated consistently since then and her doctors are now recommending spinal fusion surgery.

Andrew Fraser, Esq. and William Thayer, Esq., both of Laddey, Clark and Ryan, LLP in Sparta, NJ, tried the case. “We wish to express our thanks and gratitude to the jury comprised of eight Sussex County residents who attentively listened to all the evidence from the radiologist, orthopedic spine surgeon, and Alexis’ family before returning their verdict,” states Fraser.

Prior to the trial, the defendant’s insurance company, Mercury Insurance, offered only $18,000 to settle. The Gallagher’s had paid for a $250,000 policy, but her insurance company refused to offer it to resolve the case. This forced the case to go to trial and the jury was asked to place a value on the harms and losses Alexis has and will suffer for the rest of her life. “It’s a shame the defendant’s insurance company forced this case to trial, Alexis was only 19 when she was injured and now will require medical care for the rest of her life, the decision to settle should have been obvious to the insurance company.” states Thayer.

Media
NJ.com June 22, 2017, “Attorney says client won $1.8M judgment after rejecting $18K settlement