The following blog entry is written from a defendant’s position after a jury trial verdict for plaintiff. Reviewing this kind of briefing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in a personal injury case present such issues to the court.
(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this auto accident/personal injury case and its proceedings.)
The Jury’s $3,185,711 Economic Damages Award to Mr. Ward Is Excessive
The jury awarded Mr. Ward economic damages consisting of future medical expenses in the amount of $3,185,711. This was based on the testimony of Dr. Frank Shin, the substance of which is reflected in Dr. Shin’s “Life Care Plan,” which states a purported total cost figure of $4,685,561. That means the jury awarded roughly 68% of the amount asked for by the plaintiffs.
Dr. Shin’s “Life Care Plan” purports to state the precise cost of surgical procedures, individual medications, and medical treatments of every imaginable variety. (Dr. Shin’s testimony was the only evidence presented at trial in support of the amounts stated on this document.
The life care plan states an estimated lifetime cost for medications totaling the unbelievable sum of $2,708,200. This sum was reached by multiplying Mr. Ward’s supposed remaining life expectancy of 35 years (i.e. 420 months) by the monthly cost of a total of ten different medications, plus an additional $250,000 for botox injections. (This amount in particular is clearly overstated, since the total cost is listed as $5,000 per year, which, multiplied by a 35-year life expectancy comes only to $175,000, not $250,000.)
This medication regimen is speculative and unrealistic. It literally assumes that Mr. Ward will ingest a total of at least 22 pills, and wear two medical patches, every day for the rest of his life. Many of these medications will be taken only as needed, of course, and the evidence is deeply conflicted as to whether his condition necessitates this degree of medication for the remainder of his life. Mr. Ward, his attorneys, and his experts simply threw in everything but the kitchen sink, with the expectation that the jury would (as it likely did) simply cut the request down by a small percentage. This cynical approach should not be countenanced by this Court. (See Part 7 of 14.)
For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.