Legal Memorandum: Verdicts for Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy

Issue: Jury verdicts or settlements in New Jersey cases involving Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy.

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure, Personal Injury & Negligence
Keywords: Jury verdicts and settlements; Reflex sympathetic dystrophy cases
Jurisdiction: New Jersey
Cited Cases: None
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 06/01/2000

An online search through jury verdict and settlement files for New Jersey cases involving Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) retrieved twenty-two cases, five of which resulted in defense verdicts.  The verdicts awarded and settlements in the remainder of the cases ranged from $25,000 to $2,069,000

Information in the Personal Injury Valuation Handbooks (1999/2000) based on national studies of recent similar cases indicates that the basic injury value for RSD injuries with medical expenses between $50,000 and $150,000 ranged from $603,000 to $678,750.[1]  Those figures are based on the verdict median[2] in such cases.

Certain adjustments must be applied to the basic injury value in order to conduct an appropriate evaluation of damages.  For instance, an adjustment can be made for a plaintiff’s lost wages.  Depending on the extent of the wage loss, anywhere from 53% to 100% of the plaintiff’s lost wages must be added.  Also, the value must be adjusted for the venue of the law suit.

Note that the basic injury value does not include the value of a loss of consortium or loss of services claim.  The Handbooks indicate that such values must be calculated separately.

Defense Verdicts

•                     The jury reached a defense verdict in this case involving a woman in her 30s who suffered bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome and RSD after she was placed in restraints at the defendant hospital following her suicide attempt.  The plaintiff argued that the restraints were overly tight, but the defendant […]

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