The plaintiff was traveling eastbound on Eau Gallie Boulevard when she was hit on the passenger side of her vehicle by the underinsured, original defendant, Dolores Andrade. The original defendant admitted that she did not see the plaintiff’s automobile and violated her right of way. The original defendant maintained $100,000.00 in liability coverage with State Farm.
Approximately six months before the automobile accident, the Plaintiff slipped and essentially sat down on her left ankle. Shortly thereafter, an orthopedist performed an open reduction, internal fixation requiring the insertion of a screw on the inside of the injured ankle and a plate on the lateral side of the ankle. Roughly six weeks before the automobile accident, she was shopping in a grocery store when a child rammed a beginner’s shopping cart into the outer aspect of the affected ankle causing the plaintiff significant pain. However, her surgeon testified that she enjoyed a complete recovery from this altercation and by all means never manifested signs or symptoms consistent with Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy.
Following the automobile accident, she presented to the emergency room with complaints of a contusion to her left ankle. Apparently, during the collision, her foot hit the door and/or brake pedal.
Due to persistent pain two months after the accident she began treating with a local orthopedist. Dr. Bittar initially diagnosed her as suffering a contusion of the ankle and prescribed physical therapy. Three months post-accident she began her course of physical therapy and the therapist was the first to concern himself with the possible diagnosis of Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy.
Her symptoms continued unabated in spite of the efforts of multiple medical doctors and physical therapists.
The plaintiff had multiple compulsory medical examinations the first of which was at the behest of her PIP carrier. This orthopedist confirmed that she had RSD. The original defendant’s carrier, State Farm, sent her to another local orthopedist who testified that his physical examination failed to reveal RSD. State Farm secured an additional compulsory medical examination with an orthopedist in Orlando. This physician stated in his first report that she quite possibly had RSD, but he would recommend additional diagnostic studies, including a bone scan to confirm this finding. Following that examination, State Farm tendered its $100,000.00 in liability coverage.
Nance Cacciatore secured a settlement of $200,000.00.