HEAD-ON MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT ● $500,000 DEMANDED ● $85,000; $0 JURY VERDICTS
McGowan v. Par 3 Landscape Maintenance, et al. (A566066)
Landscaper's employee ran a stop sign and struck the plaintiff's vehicle head-on; the employee was arrested for DUI after failing field sobriety tests. Liability of the landscaper and employee was conceded. There were over $300,000 in past medical expenses for neck fusion surgery and pain-management. Plaintiff's counsel argued for $6.8 M in past and future pain, suffering, and medical treatment, and asked the jury to impose statutorily-permitted punitive damages against the employee. Our evidence was that there was no objective medical proof of an accident-related spinal injury, or that our driver-client was impaired when the accident occurred.
VERDICT: $85,000 for plaintiff's past damages. Loss of consortium claim by plaintiff's spouse was rejected entirely, as were punitive damages. Plaintiff's motion for new trial was denied.
Practice area(s): Insurance, Personal Injury, DUI / DWI