Rorie v. Meis

Defense Verdict

Date of Verdict: Nov. 5, 2018.

Court and Case No.: C.P. Philadelphia No. 160802435.

Judge: Kenneth J. Powell Jr.

Type of Action: Motor vehicle.

Injuries: Leg, back, knee injuries.

Plaintiffs Counsel: Matthew Toll, Garnick & Toll.

Defense Counsel: Warren D. Holland, Goldberg, Miller & Rubin, Philadelphia.

Defense Experts: Ryan K. Lee, radiology, Philadelphia; Robert G. Ranelle, orthopedic surgery, Cherry Hill, New Jersey.


On Sept. 18, 2014, plaintiff Geraldine Rorie, 44, was stopped at a red light on Girard Avenue at its intersection with 18th Street, in North Philadelphia, when her sedan was rear-ended by a car. She claimed injuries to her neck, back and knee.

Rorie sued the driver, William Meis, alleging that he was negligent in the operation of a vehicle. She also sued the owner of his vehicle, Theresa Meis, on the grounds of negligent entrustment. Theresa Meis was dismissed, prior to trial. During court-mandated arbitration, Rorie was determined to receive $13,777.18, which William Meis appealed.

The case was tried on the issues of causation and damages, as Meis stipulated to liability.

Rorie was taken by ambulance to an emergency room, complaining of neck pain. She underwent CT scans of her spine, which were negative, and she was released.

A couple of days later, Rorie presented to a chiropractor with complaints of pain to her neck, lower back and left knee. She treated with seven months of chiropractic care, which consisted of massage, spinal manipulation and exercise. Rorie also underwent an MRI of her left knee that showed a tear of the posterior horn of the medial meniscus.

In the week after the accident, Rorie came under the care of an orthopedic surgeon, whom she consulted through 2017. In late 2016, and in early 2017, Rorie received a series of facet-joint and transforaminal steroid injections to her lumbar spine. It was later determined that conservative care was unsuccessful in resolving Rorie’s knee tear, and later in 2017, she underwent a total knee replacement. No further treatment was rendered, and she sought to recover approximately $6,000 in medical costs.

Rorie’s expert in orthopedic surgery causally related her injuries and treatment to the accident, and determined that she suffered a serious impairment to her left knee.

Rorie testified that she continues to experience knee pain. This allegedly prevents her from dancing and walking long distances. She sought damages for past and future pain and suffering.

The defense maintained that Rorie suffered no injuries from the accident, as there was little to no damage to the vehicles, and the impact was minimal. The defense’s expert in radiology testified that Rorie’s MRI showed a degenerative tear to her medial meniscus that predated the accident.

The jury rendered a defense verdict. It found that Meis’ negligence was not a factual cause of injury to Rorie.

This report is based on information that was provided by defense counsel. Plaintiffs counsel declined to contribute.

This report first appeared in VerdictSearch, an ALM publication.