Reasonable Award For Pedestrian Hit On Crosswalk
April 2016, in his second of back-to-back alleged traumatic brain injury cases in Orange County, Scott Macdonald was successful in securing a reasonable demand of $34,000 in the face of a multi-million-dollar demand.
Plaintiff, a young man, was walking in a crosswalk with his brother when our client collided with him. He had a very large contusion to the side of his head. Plaintiff claimed that he had sustained a traumatic brain injury with residual deficit in cognitive function. Utilizing school records we were able to establish that while there was a mild concussion, there was no residual deficit.
Compelling conclusions by the defense
Macdonald argued that care and treatment had not been required since December 2013 because there was no real brain injury. He pointed out that the neuropsychological testing done after the accident demonstrated no appreciable change from the assessments done in high school.
The defense conceded fault for the collision, causation of some injury and the possibility of aggravating a previously existing depressive condition. However, Macdonald contended the plaintiff did not meet his burden of proof for a traumatic brain injury as opposed to head trauma.
The bottom line
First, the plaintiff asked for the $100,000 policy limits, then increased the claim to $950,000. The sum rose to $2.15 million, and shortly before trial the plaintiff demanded $3.25 million. They accompanied the final demand with a threat that they would petition the jury for more than $10 million.
The CM team offered the plaintiff $100,000 before trial by way of a CCP 998 settlement, but no agreement could be reached.
At trial, the plaintiff requested an award of $2,719,722. Macdonald disputed their calculations and said the jury should assign a total between $18,000 and $73,000.
The jury awarded $34,302.63, and the defense will recover costs.
- Defendant hit pedestrian in a crosswalk
- Plaintiff’s demand: $2.7 million
- Jury’s award: $34,000