Million Dollar Demand for Dog Bite
On August 22, 2019 Scott Macdonald, of Macdonald & Cody, LLP won a verdict of $67,232.77 from an Orange County jury for a dog bite incident. Liability was admitted. Plaintiff claimed that she sustained a dog bite which resulted in Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). The parties stipulated to over $15,000 in medical specials which were related to the incident. The issue for the jury to decide was the true nature of the injury and any past and future pain and suffering.
The plaintiff claimed that the accident resulted in a CRPS condition. She presented the testimony of a UCLA physician who specializes in the condition. The defense countered with experts as well. Plaintiff claimed that she had the condition and would suffer its effects for life. The defense presented evidence of a pre-existing problem with plaintiff’s ulnar nerve which was lit up by the dog bite. The defense hand expert testified that with care and treatment the symptoms would be expected to resolve within six months to a year at the outside. The defense presented evidence that plaintiff had failed to mitigate her damages by failing to undergo the care and treatment recommended to her by her treating physicians at Kaiser. The defense argued that plaintiff was seeking evaluations by attorney-referred specialists to build her case rather than focusing on the issues which were truly caused by the accident.
The defense offered $100,000 by Code of Civil Procedure Section 998 before the trial. Plaintiff’s last demand as $300,000. Plaintiff refused to negotiate below this number. Plaintiff asked the jury to award over a $1.1 million dollars. The jury awarded the stipulated medical expenses plus $22,000 in past pain and suffering and $30,000 future pain and suffering.