$2.15M Verdict: Surgery Animation Highlights Spine Injury

Summary: Complex Medical Animation Helps Deliver Successful Jury Verdict

The plaintiff in this personal injury case received two consecutive spinal fusion surgeries to address damages from an accident. After a complex set of surgical issues during the first operation, the client required an additional follow up operation to remove osteophytes, i.e., bone overgrowths, which were causing a herniated disk in the plaintiff’s spine. 

Medical jargon and postoperative follow ups can be difficult concepts to understand for a juror. Spine surgeries are arduous events for a patient to undergo and a secondary operation to address a spine injury compounds the effects. Words and operative reports alone were not enough to explain to the jury how significant it was for this patient to undergo another spine surgery. 

That’s where a surgery animation — created by Courtroom Animation’s team — provided a clear explanation of the procedure and why it was necessary to undergo. This civil case went to trial and the medical animation helped Wilshire Law Firm’s attorney, Jon Teller, secure a $2.15 million verdict for his client.

Experience the perspective of the plaintiff’s doctor yourself in this accurate legal animation in the video above.


A spinal surgery is a complex procedure that involves many technical steps often with specialized medical equipment. A medical expert could write up a report for the jury and orally walk them through the entire procedure, but it’s not as effective as possessing medical legal graphics.

Without this surgery animation, the jury would have a hard time contextualizing the surgical steps and their impacts on the spine as well as the tools used to perform the procedure.

Surgery Animation Still

This surgery involved eroding part of the spine away, removing the bone spurs, and replacing the disk material. All of these steps, accompanied with medical testimony alone, would be impossible to imagine. An accurately annotated and labelled courtroom graphic with the animation was necessary for Jon Teller to translate exactly what occurred to the jury.

If the jury can’t visualize the client’s procedure, then they can’t understand the attorney’s argument. 


When a case lasts for weeks, it’s easy for the jury and other participants to get lost in the details. This surgery animation helped Jon Teller highlight his key points through an engaging method. Having this eye-catching visual helped ensure the jury experienced a lasting impact of the case, and would remember the medical details. 

Combing through expert witness reports and medical information could risk the loss of the jury’s attention. Instead, Jon Teller was able to use the surgery animation to impress the complexity of his client’s surgery.

“It helped bring the surgery ‘to life’ and how significant it is for a patient to make the decision to undergo a spine surgery. It also helped the jury understand the different components of the spine much easier than just trying to use words to describe it. The animation was instrumental in getting the verdict we obtained.”

– Jon Teller, Wilshire Law Firm

Our team collaborated with a certified medical illustrator to create an accurate drawing and storyboard of the procedure, which then accompanied the operative reports and medical records as the injury animation’s foundation. The creation of the 3D anatomy and tools during the procedure were corroborated by medical experts to ensure accuracy, and thus admissibility. 

This cross-functional teamwork established that the legal animation matched the medical reports and guided the plaintiff attorney’s visualization efforts.

Results: $2.15M Verdict Leveraging Surgery Animation

With the surgery animation providing crucial context, the jury made their final verdict. The trial lasted around three weeks, and Jon Teller received a $2.15 million verdict from the jury.

“Policy limit was $250K — they offered $400K… jury awarded $2.15 Million.”

– Jon Teller

Courtroom Animation’s team of visual strategists, animators and developers build and customize your medical animation for any case involving personal injury, medical malpractice, vehicle accident reconstruction, or any complex subject.

Get your surgery animation quote and learn how we can help your client today!


Jon Teller

Wilshire Law Firm

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