Legal Memorandum: Verdicts and Settlements in RSD Cases

Issue: What are recent jury verdicts and settlements in Kings County, New York, in cases involving reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD)?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure, Personal Injury & Negligence
Keywords: Reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD); Jury verdict and settlement; RSD cases ranged from $100,000 to $29,257,316
Jurisdiction: New York
Cited Cases: None
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 08/01/2000

An online search through jury verdict and settlement files for Kings County cases involving reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD) retrieved nine relevant cases, three of which resulted in defense verdicts.  The verdicts awarded and settlements in the RSD cases ranged from $100,000 to $29,257,316 (reduced by the judge to $5,057,316).  Those cases are discussed below.

Information in the Personal Injury Valuation Handbooks (1999/2000) based on national studies of recent similar cases indicates that the basic injury value for reflex sympathetic dystrophy ranges from $90,500 to over $678,750, depending on the total medical expenses incurred by the plaintiff.  For instance, at the higher end of the spectrum, the basic injury values for RSD injuries with medical expenses between $50,000 and $150,000[1] ranged from $603,000 to $678,750.  Those figures are based on the verdict medians[2] in such cases.  The verdict median in all RSD cases was $282,779, the verdict probability range[3] was from $52,500 to $924,478, the actual verdict range[4] was from $500 to $29,257,316, and the verdict mean[5] was $1,199,522.  Twenty-four percent of all cases involving reflex sympathetic dystrophy resulted in awards of $1,000,000 or more.[6]

The RSD cases included in the above analysis are those in which the plaintiffs complained of prolonged and intense pain that continued after the original, underlying injury healed; changes in the bone and/or skin indicative of an interruption in the nerve or blood supply at the site of the injury; and a delay in recovering the function of the affected […]

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