In 2007, Sheri Jackovic was in a significant automobile accident. It was estimated that the car she was in was traveling 40 mph at the time it was struck on the driver's side by a vehicle driven by a one Mary Webb. It was reported that Mrs. Jackovic grabbed her chest and was screaming at the scene. She was put on a stretcher and taken to an emergency room for treatment. Following her hospital treatment, Mrs. Jackovic was later treated by other physicians for neck and back problems she alleged were related to the collision. Notably, Mrs. Jackovic had some issues with her neck prior to the accident with Mary Webb.
Mrs. Jackovic ultimately sued Mary Webb, and the matter proceeded to a trial. See Jackovic v. Webb, 2013-Ohio 2520
. Despite the fact that Ms. Webb conceded negligence, and that the event was "traumatic" and that "$7,500.00 [would be] a fair and reasonable award in [the] case," the jury returned a verdict in favor of Ms. Webb and awarded zero damages to Mrs. Jackovic.
Thankfully for Mrs. Jackovic, the Ninth District Court of Appeals determined that she should at least have been awarded damages for her initial emergency room care, finding such to be causally related to the accident and appropriate under the circumstances. It specifically found that "reasonable minds could not differ" with respect to whether Ms. Webb's negligence caused Mrs. Jackovic to seek emergency medical attention.
It should be noted, however, that the Ninth District did not award Mrs. Jackovic a new trial nor overturn the trial court's decision regarding the rest of the damages she sought (i.e., those beyond the emergency room care).
While this author is at a loss as to how a jury could possibly come to such a verdict, it is refreshing to know the Ninth District at least acknowledged the emergency care in this case was appropriate. This is consistent with Ohio Revised Code Section 2317.421
, which maintains that in a personal injury action medical bills are prima-facia reasonable.
-Written by Andrew Tobergte