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TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY (PDF download) Powered By Docstoc
					Experts in Vocational Analysis & Disability Research
Richard H. Andersen, M.S., C.V.E., C.R.C., C.D.M.S.
Marsha J. Andersen, M.Ed.,C.V.E., C.R.C., C.D.M.S.

                      Case Study                                     Disability & Employment Report #291


NATURE OF CASE: Personal injury litigation resulting from a motor vehicle accident.

                                                                                                                                TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY
OUTCOME: Case settled for a confidential amount.

ATTORNEY: Chad Slack of Hager & Dowling, 319 East Carrillo Street, 2nd Floor, Santa Barbara, California,
(805) 966-4700, represented the defendant.

VOCATIONAL EXPERT: Richard H. Andersen, M.S., C.V.E., C.R.C., C.D.M.S. of VECTOR, Inc.
Peter Formuzis of Formuzis, Pickersgill & Hunt, Inc., (714) 542-8853 served as the Economist.

ATTORNEY COMMENT: “Mr. Andersen’s rehabilitation plan was based on reports from the plaintiff’s medical
expert as well as the defense’s medical experts. The rehabilitation plan added credibility to Mr. Andersen’s
opinions, which led to a favorable settlement.”

CASE BACKGROUND: The female plaintiff, a 48-year-old Special Education Teacher’s Aide, suffered a traumatic
brain injury and multiple injuries from a motor vehicle accident. Plaintiff was attending college in pursuit of a bachelor’s
degree and teaching credential. Her goal was to become a Special Education Teacher.

FOCUS ISSUE: A review of employment and medical records quickly revealed a complex case. It was evident that
Plaintiff had numerous pre-existing medical problems, including bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome with surgical
intervention, irritable bowel syndrome, and reflux disease. Equally notable, however, was her strong employment
performance and long tenure in similar occupations. Of particular relevance were several consecutive and highly
favorable performance evaluations leading up to a few months before subject incident. Regardless of plaintiff’s pre-
existing physical problems, Andersen determined that she would have likely remained a Teacher’s Aide or obtained her
goal of a career as a Special Education Teacher. He found she had lost both opportunities. Andersen opined that Plaintiff
would likely be relegated to routine clerical work after benefitting from cognitive retraining. He placed her post-injury
probability of employment at 66.7%, as opposed to an 80.3% probability pre-injury.

DEPOSITION TESTIMONY: The significant aspect of this case was the contrast between Andersen’s research and
that of the plaintiff’s vocational rehabilitation expert. The differences were discussed at length during Andersen’s
deposition. Although both experts used the same source for wages, it was noted that Plaintiff’s expert did not focus on a
specific industry, resulting in less accurate wage projections. In addition, Plaintiff’s expert estimated a 6-month cognitive
retraining program with costs over $30,000. Andersen located a highly regarded 6-month program at a community
college for just $150. Andersen also discussed how Plaintiff’s expert did not administer vocational tests to the plaintiff or
record any functional problems or pain during the interview. He outlined the usual protocol followed when performing
vocational evaluations, which the opposing expert did not fulfill. The differences in the experts’ approaches illustrated
Andersen’s thoroughness and credibility.

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                                                                                  Case Study
ABOUT RICHARD ANDERSEN: Richard Andersen holds national certifications as a Rehabilitation Counselor,
Vocational Evaluator and Disability Management Specialist, with 36 years experience in vocational rehabilitation. He
has also testified in Superior Court in 10 California counties. VECTOR, Inc. specializes in vocational rehabilitation
counseling, disability research and forensic rehabilitation services, including vocational expert testimony on personal
injury, medical malpractice, wrongful death, and harassment matters. The firm, founded in 1975, serves both
plaintiff and defense attorneys, providing the link between the physician and the economist to precisely determine

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