Jury awards $131K to central Maine rear-end crash victim

AUGUSTA, Maine, June 16, 2017 – A jury this week awarded $131,000 in damages to a Readfield, Maine, man who was seriously injured in a rear-end crash in Augusta in 2014.

The verdict in favor of 39-year-old Isaiah Stephan concluded a two-day civil trial held at the Capital Judicial Center.

Trial lawyer Daniel Kagan of Berman & Simmons represented Stephan. He said the jury verdict covers Stephan’s medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering.

“We’re pleased with the outcome and thankful to the jury for its work,” Kagan said. “The consequences of this rear-end crash were significant for my client. He’s a practicing chiropractor, and three fingers on his hand are numb. He’s been told it would take neck surgery to repair it.”

Stephan was driving east in a construction zone on Western Avenue in Augusta on July 11, 2014, when he was rear-ended by a vehicle driven by Raymond Hedges of Livermore Falls. Stephan suffered injuries including a pinched nerve between two bones in his neck, causing numbness in his hand and worsening arthritis in his neck, Kagan said. The jury award will allow him to have surgery when he chooses, Kagan told the Kennebec Journal, which covered the verdict.

Defense lawyers for Hodges claimed the crash did not cause Stephan’s injuries. After the verdict, Stephan felt validated, Kagan said.

“He was happy that the jury understood what he’s been saying since the day it happened, that it’s true. They believed him and his doctor that this nerve entrapment happened because of the crash,” Kagan told the Kennebec Journal. “He felt that the process gave him a chance to be heard and to prove he was telling the truth.”