Case name: Jill A. and Jeffrey A. Farvour v. American Family Mutual Insurance Company
Injuries claimed: Comminuted fractured hip, fractured ankle, lacerated knee, bilateral rotator cuff tear, fractured wrist and fractured index finger.
Original amount sought: $1,150,000
Settlement amount: $1,150,000
Verdict/settlement: Settlement reached prior to filing a cause of action.
Past medical expenses: $257,944
Future medical expenses: $85,000
Loss of wages: $56,282
Date of accident: July 25, 2007
Disposition date: July 30, 2008
Claimant’s attorney: Willard P. Techmeier of The Techmeier Law Firm, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Insurance carrier: American Family Mutual Insurance Company
Claimant’s experts: Francis J. Rotter, M.D., Orthopedic Surgery, Glendale; Timothy J. Riley, M.S., CRC, Vocational Rehabilitation, Milwaukee; and Richard J. Meadows, Ph.D., Economist, Milwaukee
Claimants’ counsel’s summary of case: On July 25, 2007, Jill A. Farvour, 47 years old, was driving northbound on Cty. Hwy. KK in Ozaukee County when an insured American Family Mutual Insurance driver, driving southbound, lost control of his truck, crossing the center line, smashing head on with Farvour's vehicle. The impact of the collision caused both vehicles to be totaled.
The driver of the truck was cited for failing to drive on the right side of the roadway.
Damages injuries and permanency: From the accident scene, after a one-hour extrication from the car by the Jaws of Life, Farvour was transported by Flight For Life to Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital in Milwaukee where she received emergency medical treatment. She was diagnosed with the following injuries:
A fractured and dislocated left hip required extensive surgical intervention and resulted in a 50 percent permanent disability.
A fracture and dislocation of the left ankle will require an ankle fusion and resulted in a 40 percent permanent disability.
Farvour’s knees were injured resulting in a 5 percent permanent disability.
Rotator cuff injuries resulted in 5 percent permanency to each of Farvour’s shoulders.
A fracture to her left arm was treated and stabilized with a plate.
She broke her right index finger.
Farvour required extensive in-patient hospitalization and out-patient medical treatment including orthopedic surgeries, out-patient follow-up, medical appointments, x-rays and MRI’s, rehabilitation and therapy causing her to incur $257,943 in medical expenses.
Farvour’s future $85,000 in medical expenses are as follows:
$50,000 for a total hip replacement;
$25,000 for an ankle fusion;
$10,000 surgical removal of the plate from Farvour’s left forearm.
Farvour will require analgesic narcotic medication for the duration of her life. She will have a permanent limp and have limited community ambulatory capabilities. Farvour’s shoulder symptoms will preclude competitive use of her hands above her shoulder for the duration of her life. Farvour will require lifetime support and assistive report with respect to ambulation, either a cane, crutches or a walker.
Farvour’s treating orthopedic surgeon testified that Farvour would be unable to return to gainful employment given her marked limited ambulatory endurance mobility and need for narcotic analgesic medication.
Damages loss of household services/ loss of earnings: At the time of the July 25, 2007 accident, Farvour was a full-time employee of Simplicity Mfg., Inc. in Port Washington, Wisconsin, where she worked as a progressive assembler for the manufacturing of snow blowers and tractors. Farvour was rendered totally disabled since the July 25, 2007 accident. It was the opinion of Farvour’s economist that Farvour sustained a total economic loss, loss of past wages of $56,282; and present value loss of earnings of $680,000.
Settlement: On Feb. 22, 2008 settlement for American Family Mutual Insurance Company’s underlying primary policy limits of $150,000 for its insured was reached with a partial release which reserved the claim against the umbrella policy.
On July 7, 2008, Farvour’s attorney submitted to American Family a complete and comprehensive documentation of Farvour’s damage claim and demanded that Ameri-can Family pay its $1M dollar excess policy limits for its insured by July 31, 2008 or a lawsuit would be filed against American Family and its insured.
On the morning of July 31, 2008, the adjuster from American Family Mutual Insurance Company telephoned Farvour’s attorney, agreeing to pay Farvour the $1M limits from the umbrella policy of its insured.