Plaintiff injured when friendly bartender jumps on him. $148K. Orange County.
New Year's day celebration takes an unexpected turn at local pub.
- Case Name: Kuzmic v. Silky Sullivan's Restaurant and Irish Pub
- Court and Case Number: Orange County Sup. Court / 30-2015-00794782-CU-PO-CJC
- Date of Verdict or Judgment: Wednesday, August 02, 2017
- Date Action was Filed: Wednesday, November 04, 2015
- Type of Action: Course and scope of employment, Negligence
- Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Nathan Scott
- Plaintiffs: Timothy Kuzmic, 47, engineer.
- Defendants: Silky Sullivan's Restaurant and Irish Pub (employer of bartender at time of incident.)
- Type of Result: Jury Verdict
- Gross Verdict or Award: $148,890.32
- Award as to each Defendant:
Silky Sullivan's Restaurant and Irish Pub - 100% negligent.
- Economic Damages:
- Non-Economic Damages:
- Trial or Arbitration Time: 6 days.
- Jury Deliberation Time: 1 day.
- Jury Polls: 12-0 on negligence and 12-0 on substantial factor.
- Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: Memorandum of Costs to be filed.
- Attorney for the Plaintiff:
Law Office of Jeffrey R. Lamb by Jeffrey R. Lamb, Los Angeles.
McNicholas & McNicholas by Patrick McNicholas, Los Angeles.
- Attorney for the Defendant:
Harrington, Foxx, Dubrow & Canter, LLP by Daniel Kenney, Los Angeles.
- Plaintiff’s Medical Expert(s):
Kevin Ehrhart, orthopedics, Santa Monica.
- Defendant's Medical Expert(s):
- Plaintiff's Technical Expert(s):
- Defendant's Technical Expert(s):
John Brault, MS, biomechanics, Mission Viejo.
Facts and Background
- Facts and Background:
Plaintiff, a regular patron of defendant Silky Sullivan's was enjoying several football games with friends on January 1, 2015 in Fountain Valley. He spent several hours in the restaurant/bar that day. A bartender won a football pool that she was participating in, and plaintiff, who knew her well, walked to her to tell her she won the pool. In a moment of innocent exuberance, the bartender hurriedly and unexpectedly jumped onto the plaintiff who took an awkward step with his left foot, dislocating all five metatarsal bones from their joint in his left foot. Plaintiff underwent three separate surgical procedures before trial as a result of the injury to his lisfranc.
- Plaintiff's Contentions:
Defendant bartender was negligent and the cause of plaintiff's injury.
- Defendant's Contentions:
Defendant contended that the bartender was not negligent and that the injury to plaintiff was a freak accident caused by two people celebrating her win of the football pool on New Year's Day. Defendant also contended that plaintiff was comparatively negligent for drinking and his level of intoxication contributed to his balance and coordination such that he was responsible for the awkward step and injury.
Injuries and Other Damages
- Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Lisfranc injury, complete dislocation of all five metatarsal bones in plaintiff's left foot. Open reduction, internal fixation surgery, hardware removal surgery, subsequent surgery to remove screws that had broken off and then backed out, poking out of the bottom of this foot. Need for fusion surgery in the future to alleviate pain.
- Special Damages Claimed - Past Medical: $23,890.32
- Special Damages Claimed - Future Medical: $15,000
Demands and Offers
- Plaintiff §998 Demand: $450,000
- Plaintiff Final Demand before Trial: $400,000
- Defendant §998 Offer: $125,000
- Defendant Final Offer before Trial: $125,000