Verdict For Insurance Defense Attorney Scott Macdonald In Santa Ana Brain Injury Case
On March 23, 2016, the jury handed down a favorable verdict in a car accident case defended by Scott Macdonald. Macdonald represented an 86-year-old client who drove the wrong way on a city street, causing a head-on collision.
Estimated closing speed between the vehicles was 34 to 43 miles per hour. The collision was forceful enough that air bags deployed in both cars and the drivers went to the hospital by ambulance. The elderly defendant did not sustain significant injury.
The plaintiff, however, started down the path of treatment for orthopedic complaints and retained Larry Parker as counsel. Eventually the plaintiff underwent cervical fusion surgery and declared the need for a lumbar microdiscectomy.
New attorney, different direction
Then, more than three years after the accident, the plaintiff switched attorneys and the focus of the case. They came forward claiming a traumatic brain injury, in addition to the earlier neck and back complaints.
The plaintiff had variously demanded an award of $1 million and $2.3 million. Before the trial began, Macdonald argued that the case was valued between $0 and $89,000 and offered a $300,000 settlement.
The plaintiff refused and presented a life care plan for $4.1 million, with a total award of just over $6.9 million asked of the jury.
While admitting that perhaps the cervical surgery was related to accident, Macdonald disagreed that the collision was the source of the plaintiffs lumbar issues. And he convincingly argued that the plaintiff did not sustain a traumatic brain injury, as they were claiming. The plaintiffs team presented no past medical specials, only medical fees expected in the future.
The shrunken award
When the deliberations were over, the jury awarded $50,314 for future care, $5,000 in past pain and suffering and $5,000 in future pain and suffering. The award was further reduced by 40% for comparative negligence after Macdonald masterfully argued that plaintiff had done nothing to avoid the accident.