Disputed cause and extent of injury equals low offer in motorcycle accident. Verdict $187K. Los Angeles County.
Defendant motorist suddenly pulls into carpool lane to avoid collision with vehicle in front of him; cuts off motorcyclist in the carpool lane, who then rearends defendant. Defendant claims comparative fault by plaintiff, contests injuries, makes lowball offer.
- Case Name: Joseph Hubbard v. Alan Parrish
- Court and Case Number: Los Angeles Superior Court / VC059513
- Date of Verdict or Judgment: Wednesday, August 07, 2013
- Date Action was Filed: Wednesday, September 14, 2011
- Type of Action: Vehicles - Motorcycle
- Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Patrick Madden
- Plaintiffs: Joseph Hubbard, 27, store clerk
- Defendants: Alan Parrish
- Type of Result: Jury Verdict
- Gross Verdict or Award: $187,800
- Award as to each Defendant:
- Contributory/Comparative Negligence: Argued by defendant, but none found by the jury (negligence, but no causation).
- Economic Damages:
Past Medical: $80,000
Future Medical: $20,000
- Non-Economic Damages:
- Trial or Arbitration Time: 6 Days
- Jury Deliberation Time: 4 hours
- Jury Polls: 11-1 on liability and damages
- Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: Plaintiff's motion for CCP 998 costs
- Attorney for the Plaintiff: Bisnar | Chase, LLP by H. Gavin Long, Newport Beach.
- Attorney for the Defendant: Mark Weiner & Associates by Gina Calderon, Glendale.
- Plaintiff’s Medical Experts: Edwin Ashley, M.D., hand surgery, Anaheim.Arlen Green, DO, pain management, Laguna Niguel.Bruce DeCarlo, M.D., physical medicine and rehabilitation, Costa Mesa.
- Defendant's Medical Experts: Nick Shamie, M.D., spine surgery, Los Angeles.Stuart Kuschner, M.D., hand surgery, Los Angeles.Stephen Rothman, M.D., radiology, Los Angeles.
- Defendant's Technical Experts: Nick Carpenter, accident reconstruction, Laguna Niguel.Nancy Michalski, R.N., medical billing, Los Angeles.
Facts and Background
- Facts and Background:
On October 18, 2009 plaintiff was riding his motorcycle in the carpool lane, northbound on the 605 freeway. As traffic began to slow in the fast lane, defendant, to avoid a collision in front of him, entered the carpool lane causing plaintiff to rear end the defendant.
Plaintiff suffered a neck injury requiring physical therapy and injections. He also suffered a wrist injury resulting in surgery.
- Plaintiff's Contentions:
That plaintiff was not at fault for the collision. That plaintiff was lawfully traveling in the car pool lane. That plaintiff began to slow down once he saw traffic slowing down in the car pool lane. That defendant cut in front of plaintiff in order to avoid causing a collision with the vehicles ahead of him in the fast lane, and that plaintiff could not avoid impacting the defendant's vehicle.
- Defendant's Contentions:
That plaintiff was partially at fault for the collision. That plainitff rear ended the defendant as he tried to pass defendant when plaintiff saw defendant enter the carpool lane. That plaintiff failed to slow down when he saw traffic abruptly slowing in the fast lane.
Defendant disputed the nature and extent of plaintiff's injuries claiming only neck sprain/strain, and that the hand surgery due to wrist injury was unnecessary as there was no medical evidence of the arthritis for which the fusion was allegedly performed.
Injuries and Other Damages
- Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
2-3mm C6-7 disc bulge. Physical therapy and 2 EPSI injections. Traumatic arthritis of the wrist resulting in surgery.
- Special Damages Claimed - Past Medical: Per plaintiff's counsel: $80,000. Per defense counsel: past medical bills claimed by plaintiff were $110,974 and the defense conceded reasonable past meds of $52,000.
- Special Damages Claimed - Future Medical: Per plaintiff's counsel: $20,000. Per defense counsel: $100,000
Demands and Offers
- Plaintiff §998 Demand: $100,000
- Defendant §998 Offer: $25,000 Per defense counsel: Defendant’s 998 was served pre-hand surgery, which occurred on June 6, 2013 and specials for which were not presented until the eve of trial. Reasonable medical specials at time of defendant's 998 offer were $30,000.