On January 28, 2017, plaintiff was T-boned by a Lafayette police officer who pulled out of the parking lot at Our Lady of Fatima Church on Johnston Street in Lafayette, crashing into the side of plaintiff’s pickup truck. Prior to trial, the parties stipulated that the defendant police officer was the sole legal cause of the subject collision and that he was in the course and scope of his employment with Lafayette City-Parish Consolidated Government at the time of the collision.
As the result of the collision, the 29-year-old plaintiff suffered injuries to his cervical and lumbar spine including annular fissures at C4-5 and C5-6, a central disc protrusion at C6-7, disc bulging at L3-4 and L4-5, as well as a disc protrusion and fissure at L5-S1. Plaintiff’s pre-trial treatment included three (3) rounds of cervical steroid injections and two (2) rounds of lumbar injections. In 2019, plaintiff’s treating spine surgeon recommended that plaintiff undergo total disc replacement at C6-C7 and an anterior lumbar interbody fusion at L5-S1.
Plaintiff, a father of six, continued to work through his pain following the collision so that he could support his family. At trial, the defense attempted to downplay plaintiff’s injuries using job descriptions which indicated he was required to perform heavy lifting at work and testimony from his supervisors confirming those job descriptions. Plaintiff testified the job descriptions did not accurately reflect the actual work he was required to perform at those jobs and on cross-examination, plaintiff’s supervisors were forced to admit that they had never actually observed him perform any heavy lifting after the accident.