Catastrophically Injured Sacramento Man Sues After Car Acident, Part 3 of 5

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of filing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

In essence, defendant argues that the expert witness bill from ABC Engineering should be substantially cut because Mr. Ridley Hall used computer programs to create an animation and blow-ups that were used at trial. The argument goes on to sate that such a presentation could have been done by less expensive, low-tech means . No explanation, however, is given by defendant as to how computer modeling and a computer-based animation could have been done less expensively to communicate the same thing. Obviously, due to evidentiary foundational requirements, Mr. Hall had to base his animation on appropriate documentation and evidence in order to create an accurate reconstruction of the subject accident. There is no declaration submitted by defendant by any competent expert that says that the computerized accident reconstruction could be done at a more reasonable expense or using “low-tech means.”
In fact, the jury found that Mr. Hall’s presentation was so important that they asked for the animation to be replayed during their deliberations. All of Mr. Hall’s computer-created exhibits were painstakingly used one by one during his testimony, as was his animation.

The case cited by defendant, El Dorado Meat Co. v. Yosemite Meat and Locker Service, Inc., (2007) 150 Cal.App.4th 612, actually supports the type of evidence that was used in this trial:

The problem with the electronic equipment and the labor costs rejected in Science Applications, as we understand it, was that these were more expensive methods of doing things that could be done by less-expensive, low-tech means, and therefore they were not reasonably necessary to the conduct of the litigation but were “merely convenient or beneficial to its preparation.” (§1033.5, subd. (c)(2).)

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Here, there is little doubt that using computers and suitably trained personnel to compile the data upon which exhibit 600 was based was more efficient than any low-tech method of doing the same thing. The idea that the cost is not allowable because the exhibit could have been created using adding machines, ledger paper, and pencils instead of electronic databases is antiquated. 150 Cal.App.4th 612 at 620.

The most obvious argument against defendant’s proposition is that their decidedly low-tech accident reconstruction expert, Peter Burkhard, testified about his fees that were much higher than those of his high-tech counterpart, Eric Hall. In summary the defendant’s argument that Mr. Hall’s fees are excessive is unsupported by anything other than argument. In light of the serious injury proven at trial, against a fierce defense, Mr. Hall’s fees are entirely in line with equally competent experts. It is believed that this court would agree that Mr. Hall’s presentation was extremely impressive, of the highest caliber, and professionally delivered. More importantly, it was helpful to the jury in understanding the liability issues in this case. (See Part 4 of 5.)

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

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