Partners Jennifer L. Russell and Armen A. Avakian won a complete defense verdict in a case involving a defendant who rear-ended a 41-year old plaintiff who alleged severe injury and underwent neck surgery as a result.
Facts: Defendant admitted liability but disputed the nature and extent of her alleged injuries. Defendant argued that plaintiff’s injuries and the surgery were not a result of the minor rear-end accident. Plaintiff claimed due to the injuries she could no longer pursue her dream of working as a nurse and her husband’s life was also impacted so he filed a claim for loss of consortium. They also claimed she continued to have severe pain and another surgery was necessary.
Damages: Plaintiff argued she had extensive neck and back problems as a result of the accident. She underwent cervical fusion prior to trial and her doctor testified she also needed to have back surgery which she scheduled during the course of the trial. The specials were over $100,000 but after much debate and when the defense would not agree to plaintiff’s costs of treatment, plaintiff waived all medical specials at trial. Plaintiff’s counsel argued plaintiff’s life was severely impacted as she had neck surgery and needs back surgery and could not work as a nurse as a result of the accident. Despite undergoing surgery the defense argued it was not necessary.
Demand: Plaintiff’s counsel asked the jury to award $4,298,434 million dollars to plaintiff and $150,000 to her husband for his loss of consortium claim. The defense argued that plaintiff sustained nothing more than soft tissue injuries and the value of her claim was in the area of $10,000 and her husband’s claim was not worth anything.
Result: After 3 and a half hours the jury returned a verdict in the amount of $15,000 to plaintiff and zero for her husband. Defendant filed a cost bill for $90,000.