Author(s): James L. Borin

Jamal Brown, age 10, was injured in a motor vehicle accident on April 15, 2005. He was subsequently discharged from Mary Free Bed Hospital with a prescription for 24 hour “adult supervision”. Allstate voluntarily paid the claimant’s mother $8.00 per hour. The attendant care continued over a three year period with incremental reduction in the number of hours prescribed by his treating physician.

In preparation for trial counsel for Allstate deposed the treating doctor who opined that the skill level required to care for Jamal was not that of a home health aide, but rather at the level of a rehab aide. In response to that testimony, Allstate raised the rate to $11.00 per hour, retroactively and prospectively.

At trial, plaintiff offered Renee LaPorte, Ph.D., RN, CCM, CBIS as an expert on attendant care rates. She testified that Mrs. Brown was acting as a life skill trainer for Jamal, which was worth $25.00 per hour. She further testified that an individual can learn the basics of skills training

in 24 hours. She also testified that $25.00 per hour was not the “agency rate”, as she has repeatedly testified in prior litigation, but rather was the “value” of the care provided by Jamal’s mother.

The jury required less than 45 minutes to reject plaintiff’s claim. In discussions with the jurors afterward they unanimously concluded that $11.00 per hour was more than reasonable for the services provided by Mrs. Brown for her son. They also indicated that plaintiff’s expert, Renee LaPorte was neither credible or convincing in her testimony

We continue to collect Ms. LaPorte’s Attendant Care Reports. Please forward them to me by fax (248-641-0222) or email (jborin@garanlucow.com).