Cause/extent of injuries disputed in grocery store accident. $886K. Los Angeles County.

Summary

Elderly woman shopping at Albertson's is struck by loaded merchandise cart.

The Case

  • Case Name: Plent v. Anheuser-Busch, LLC
  • Court and Case Number: Los Angeles Superior Court / BC551113
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Tuesday, April 19, 2016
  • Date Action was Filed: Wednesday, July 09, 2014
  • Type of Action: Negligence
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. C. Edward Simpson
  • Plaintiffs:
    Eileen Plent, 86, female, retired
  • Defendants:
    Anheuser-Busch, LLC
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: $886,974
  • Economic Damages:

    $271,974

  • Non-Economic Damages:

    $615,000

  • Trial or Arbitration Time: 5 1/2 days.
  • Jury Deliberation Time: 2 hours and 45 minutes.
  • Jury Polls: 12-0

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:

    Cheong, Denove, Rowell & Bennett by John F. Denove, Los Angeles.

  • Attorney for the Defendant:

    Gordon & Reese by Kevin W. Alexander and Allison L. Jones, San Diego.

The Experts

  • Plaintiff’s Medical Expert(s):

    Jerome Stenehjem, M.D., physical medicine and rehabilitation, San Diego,.

    Jacob Tauber, M.D, orthopedic surgery, Beverly Hills,.

  • Defendant's Medical Expert(s):

    William P. Curran, Jr., M.D., orthopedic surgery, San Diego.

    Charise L. Ivy, M.D., physical medicine and rehabilitation, Sierra Madre.

  • Plaintiff's Technical Expert(s):

    Tamorah Hunt, Ph.D., economics, Santa Ana.

  • Defendant's Technical Expert(s):

    Jerald Udinsky, Ph.D., economics, Berkeley.

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    On May 14, 2013, plaintiff was hit from behind with a loaded merchandise cart  (operated by Defendant Anheuser Busch) while she was shopping at an Albertson's grocery store.  She fell and sustained injuries.

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    Plaintiff sought compensation for her future medical and related expenses and for her physical pain, mental suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.

    Plaintiff contended that her injuries were caused by defendant's negligent action.

     

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    The incident was captured on the store video. Defendant admitted
    liability and the only issue decided at trial was the nature and extent of plaintiff’s injuries and damages.

    Defendant contended that plaintiff did not need any future care for the injuries related to the incident other than two physical therapy visits for training in in-home exercises and mild analgesics. That if she did need future care, it would be for epidural steroid injections at a cost of $4,000 to $32,000 for her pre-existing degenerative joint disease.


    Defendant further contended that plaintiff had recovered and that her current complaints were due to her age and unrelated medical conditions and injuries, including peripheral vascular disease, prior compression fractures of the thoracic and lumbar spine, pre-existing scoliosis, segmental instability, degenerative joint disease, and generalized osteoarthritis.

Injuries and Other Damages

  • Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:

    Back injury and ongoing pain.

    Plaintiff’s future care costs include visits to a physical medicine and
    rehabilitation medicine physician, a one-time pain program, Botulinum Toxin injections, physical therapy, a vestibular program, intra-articular injections and inhome services. The present cash value of these visits, treatments and services is $290,000.

Special Damages

  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Medical: $ 13,975.22 (waived)
  • Special Damages Claimed - Future Medical: $290,000 (present cash value)

Demands and Offers

  • Plaintiff Final Demand before Trial: At mediation, plaintiff proposed a bracket of $200,000 to 800,000.
  • Plaintiff Demand during Trial: $1,100,000
  • Defendant Final Offer before Trial: At mediation, $85,000.
  • Defendant Offer during Trial: $500,000

Additional Notes

Insurance carrier for defendant: Sedgwick Claims Management

Disclaimer

This is not an official court document. While the publisher believes the information to be accurate, the publisher does not guarantee it and the reader is advised not to rely upon it without consulting the official court documents or the attorneys of record in this matter who are listed above.

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