RECENT TRIALS AND VERDICTS
Great Result in Case Involving Customer Struck by Car in Restaurant Parking Lot Following Altercation
Kristie Crawford obtained a favorable result for her client in Greene County. The plaintiff was struck in the parking lot of a bar and grill in Springfield, Missouri, by another patron. Witnesses indicated that during a physical altercation in the parking lot, the plaintiff was struck and fell to the ground in front of the other patron’s vehicle. He sustained a head injury, fractures to his ribs, a spleen laceration, fracture of multiple pubic rami, an acetabulum fracture, bilateral hip dislocations, a liver laceration, transverse process fractures, a clavicle fracture, multiple abrasions, and multiple lacerations. He was hospitalized for 60 days and underwent surgery seven times. Plaintiffs claimed at trial that the restaurant defendant’s failure to have sufficient security at closing contributed to cause the incident and that surveillance video showed violations of liquor laws. The defendant argued that none of the claimed violations caused the incident and that the incident was caused by plaintiff’s own conduct because he left the building five minutes before the other patron and, rather than leaving the premises, stayed in the parking lot for 18 minutes before any physical altercation occurred. Defendant further argued based on the testimony of witnesses that the plaintiff voluntarily engaged in the physical altercation. Plaintiffs requested the jury award $5.1 million and find the defendant 90% at fault. The jury returned a verdict finding plaintiffs’ damages totaled $5,008,333, plus $50,000 in compensatory damages for his wife on a loss of consortium claim, and no punitive damages. They assessed 90% of the fault to the plaintiff and 10% to the defendant.
Defense Victory in Case Leading to Near Blindness in Both Eyes
Philip Willman and Justin Hardin secured a defense verdict for their client, a retinal specialist. The case involved a 20-year-old female plaintiff who saw her optometrist complaining of visual disturbances. She was referred to a retinal specialist for evaluation of a possible retinal detachment. After a full examination and evaluation, the retinal specialist determined the plaintiff did not have a retinal detachment, but noticed she had dramatic swelling of her optic nerves and suspected she suffered from pseudotumor cerebri. He contacted a neuro-ophthalmologist who treated pseudotumor cerebri and referred the plaintiff to the same. The office was located next door, and the plaintiff was escorted there. The doctor was not in the office, but a visual field test was performed and showed an abnormal visual field. The result of the visual field test was never shared with the plaintiff or the retinal specialist. After conducting the visual field test, it was determined the doctor’s office did not have a contract with Illinois Public Aid and the plaintiff decided to not treat with the neuro-ophthalmologist. The plaintiff did not return to the retinal specialist’s office, but rather contacted her primary care physician and saw him the following day. She did not receive a referral to a neuro-ophthalmologist or other specialist right away and eventually went nearly completely blind 15 days later as a result of pseudotumor cerebri. There was no dispute at the trial that the plaintiff had a severe and permanent visual disability. She claimed the retinal specialist was negligent in not ensuring the neuro-ophthalmologist’s office took the plaintiff’s insurance (Illinois Public Aid) prior to referring her to him. The plaintiff also claimed the retinal specialist was negligent for not following up with either the neuro-ophthalmologist or the plaintiff to ensure she was actually seen by the neuro-ophthalmologist for her urgent medical condition. The plaintiff sought and submitted punitive damages as well. In closing, the plaintiff requested between $5 million and $15 million in damages. The plaintiff did not submit any medical bills and made no lost wage claim. The damages were all in the form of noneconomic damages (it should be noted that because the cause of action accrued in June 2015, the statutory cap on noneconomic damages was not applicable). The jury returned a verdict in favor of our client and apportioned 100 percent of fault to the plaintiff.
Defense Verdict in Case Involving Child’s Fall at Pool
Corey Kraushaar obtained a defense verdict in a two-day jury trial in Taney County Circuit Court. The 2-year-old plaintiff’s grandparent and next friend claimed the kiddie pool area in the client’s waterpark was dangerous because the child tripped on blue rubber material sticking up from the pool floor. The plaintiff claimed the child fell and struck her head on the edge of the pool, resulting in a closed head injury, bruising, scarring and developmental deficits. The jury returned with a verdict for the defendant.
Defense Win in Case Involving Icy Fall at Church
and Kelsey McLean
obtained a great result for their client in St. Charles County. The plaintiff was working as a caregiver for an elderly church member when she alleges she slipped and fell on a set of stairs leading from the street to the entrance of the church. She sustained a broken ankle, torn tendon, and nerve damage that required two surgeries to repair. We argued that plaintiff was responsible for her injuries due to her failure to keep a careful lookout for ice on the stairs when she was aware of ice on other parts of the property and freezing rain earlier in the day. Plaintiff asked the jury to award her $200,000. The jury returned a unanimous verdict finding plaintiff’s damages totaled $10,000 and assessing her 90 percent at fault for the accident—resulting in a $1,000 net verdict that was reduced to zero by a setoff in favor of defendant.
2018 trials and verdicts
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