Admitting Fault Does Not Mean Accepting Plaintiff's Damages

Selman Breitman Claims Another Trial Victory!

Partner Jerry Popovich of Selman Breitman's Orange County office has again brought in a very low verdict in a case with admitted negligence.  It was a nine-day jury trial at Riverside County's Murrieta Branch in California.  The clients are an international company and its employee.  The employee, in the course of her employment, rear-ended the plaintiff, a 67-year-old workers' compensation defense lawyer.  The defendants admitted the negligence of the employee driver, but disputed  the causation for extensive injuries and damages being claimed.  The plaintiff sought damages for permanent nerve injuries in her right shoulder, arm, and hand, with a claim for a future surgery.  Plaintiff asked the jury to award $1.1 Million in economic and noneconomic damages.

For the defendants, Jerry challenged the relationship between the accident and the nerve injuries through cross-examination of the plaintiff's expert neurosurgeon, successfully restricting testimony of plaintiff's treating doctors, and use of a defense-retained expert neurosurgeon.  A forensic accountant was also used to challenge the plaintiff's claims of lost profits from her law business because she retired early as a result of the accident.  The defendants accepted responsibility for two or three months of neck pain and stiffness, with headaches, but nothing more.

After less than 40 minutes of deliberation, the jury unanimously agreed with the defense arguments, awarding no damages in five categories of economic losses, and only awarding a mere $1,000 for past pain and suffering relating to the neck complaints and headaches.  There was no award relating to the nerve injuries in the right upper extremity.

Partner Asir Fiola and Associate Celeena Pompeo in the Orange County office did the outstanding work in preparing this case for trial.

For more information about this case, including its implications for any of your current and open matters, please contact Jerry Popovich.

Selman Breitman provides this information for educational purposes. Case results depend upon a variety of factors unique to each case. Case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any future case. This information should not be construed or relied on as legal advice or to create a lawyer-client relationship.