Verdicts & Settlements

Case Results – from Verdict Search

Plaintiff claimed cervical disc injuries in multi-car crash

June 15, 2010
Mediated Settlement – $775,000

M. Cristian Ionescu v. Arpin Van Lines, Inc.,
William Blansky, Lawrence Roberts, II and Ciolfi Van Services, Inc., No. 2008-49986

Case: M. Cristian Ionescu v. Arpin Van Lines, Inc.,William Blansky, Lawrence Roberts, II and Ciolfi Van Services, Inc., No. 2008-49986

Court: Harris County District Court, 11th, TX

Judge: Mike Miller

Neutral(s): Nancy Huston

Date: 6/15/2010

Plaintiff Attorney(s)

  • Dax F. Garza, The Crim Law Firm, Houston, TX

Defense Attorney(s)

  • Robin N. Blanchette, Hays, McConn, Rice & Pickering, Houston, TX (Ciolfi Van Services, Inc., William Blansky)Evan N. Kramer, Law Offices of Evan Kramer, Houston, TX (Lawrence Roberts, II)
  • M. Dean Solomon, David Klosterboer & Associates, Houston, TX (Arpin Van Lines, Inc.)
  • Troy A. Williams, Hays, McConn, Rice & Pickering, Houston, TX (Ciolfi Van Services, Inc., William Blansky)

Facts & Allegations

On October 16, 2006, plaintiff M. Cristian Ionescu, 50, a marine surveyor, was traveling from Mississippi to Houston on Interstate 10. it was dark and raining in a construction zone outside of Orange when Lawrence Roberts II, who was driving ahead of Ionescu, hedroplaned and spun out on the highway. The car directly behind Roberts slowed down and didn’t hit Roberts. Ionescu was the next vehicle, and then another vehicle. All managed to slow down or stop and not hit Roberts. However, William Blansky, in an Arpin Van Lines Truck, collided into the other four vehicles pushing them together. he claimed neck injuries.

Ionecu sued Arpin Van Lines; Inc., Blansky, roberts and Ciolfi Van Services Inc. (the Florida franchise corporation of Arpin Van lines).

Roberts contended that because of the rain and the heavy construction in the area, the accident was unavoidable and the result of a sudden emergency.

The other defendants maintained that the accident would not have happened had Roberts not lost control of his vehicle, ending up facing the wrong way in a blocked-off construction zone. Alternatively, the rain and construction in the area made the accident unavoidable, resulting in a sudden emergency.

Injuries / Damages: discectomy; fusion, cervical

The plaintiff declined an ambulance and did not seek any medical care that night, but continued on to work. He saw a general practitioner within a week, then sporadic follow-up care with this chiropractor in Mississippi.

Three years after the accident, the plaintiff underwent a discectomy and two-level anterior cervical fusion at C5-C6 and C6-C7. He claimed $126,000 in past medical expenses and $76,000 in past lost wages.

The defense argued that the plaintiff’s injuries were preexisting, since he had been under the care of a chiropractor in Mississippi and was seen for neck complaints as recently as two weeks before the accident. The defense argued that Ionescu had a good surgical result, and it was undisputed that he returned to work making six-figure salary.


The parties reached a settlement with the assistance of Nancy Huston. Roberts tendered his limits of $25,000 and Travelers Insurance paid $750,000.


Travelers Arpin Van Lines, Inc., Ciolfi Van Services, Inc., William BlanskyNationwide Lawrence Roberts, II

Plaintiff Expert(s)

  • Roger C. Allen, trucking industry, Friendswood, TX (did not testify)Stephen I. Esses, M.D., orthopedic surgery, Houston, TX (did not testify)
  • Ken McCoin, Ph.D., economics, Dallas, TX (did not testify)

Defense Expert(s)

  • James P. Mandel, Ph.D., economics, Bellaire, TX (did not testify)Jose A. Spencer, M.D. radiology, Houston, TX (did not testify)
  • William Watters, M.D., orthopedic surgery, Houston, TX (did not testify)

This report is based on information that was provided by plantiff’s counsel. Defense counsel did not respond to reporter’s phone calls.

– James Withers, Verdict Resources.

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