Reasonable Result For Cervical Fusion Surgery
January 2018, Our client, a business that operates tractor trailers was sued after one of its drivers rear-ended a vehicle in which plaintiff was a rear-seat passenger. The damage to the vehicles was significant. We admitted liability and Scott Macdonald tried the matter on damages.
The plaintiff was a 28-year-old marketing representative and photographer. He underwent a cervical fusion surgery. Plaintiff’s neurosurgeon testified that the surgery was unsuccessful and that in addition to adjacent segment dysfunction, plaintiff would require additional surgery to cure on-going symptomatology. Claimed past medical damages were significant and roughly $168,000. Claimed future necessary future medical specials were significant and roughly $300,000. Our experts disputed that the original surgery was necessary, that there was any significant injury and that reasonable medicals were in the range of $30,000 to $40,000.
The matter was tried to a jury in Pasadena. The trial was very eventful as plaintiff’s neurosurgeon repeatedly violated Court orders regarding evidence and was censured by the Court for so-doing. In addition, the trial Court entered a ruling that plaintiff’s neurosurgeon had not utilized his best efforts to locate and produce a video of the surgery that had been properly and timely requested in discovery. After ruling that the video was inadmissible, the witness persisted in mentioning its existence to the jury.
The plaintiff had an extensive social media presence. We effectively utilized this information to contradict claims of past and continuing injury. This case was a prime example of the effective use of social media at trial.
We offered $350,000 by way of CCP 998 prior to trial. Plaintiff asked the jury for $1.9 million, and demanded $875,000 while the jury was deliberating. The jury awarded plaintiff $265,000.