Poole & Shaffery, LLP is pleased to announce another favorable verdict rendered in a wrongful death case. John H. Shaffery, Jaion Chung and Silviana Dumitrescu represented a limousine company and its driver who were sued for the wrongful death of a 75 year-old bicyclist.
The plaintiffs, consisting of the widow and the two adult daughters, argued that the tragic accident was caused by the failure of the limousine company’s driver to completely stop at a stop sign before making a right turn on to a busy roadway. The plaintiffs further argued that had the driver completely stopped, he would have noticed the decedent riding his bicycle along the wrong side of the road.
During four days of pre-trial evidentiary hearings, the defense was constantly under attack including the loss of (1) their key helmet defense expert, (2) evidence that the decedent was not wearing a helmet, (3) the ability to present the testimony of the investigating officer’s regarding his findings including that the driver’s stop was acceptable pursuant to the Vehicle Code. Following the trial court’s rulings, the plaintiffs immediately withdrew their statutory offer to compromise in the amount of $1,999,999.99. However, the defense’s statutory offer to compromise in the amount of $1,000,001.00 was never withdrawn. The defense argued that the bicyclist had two opportunities to avoid the accident and failed to do so.
At the conclusion, the plaintiffs asked the jury for an award of $10,855,200.00 to $24,852,800.00 in non-economic damages.
After less than two days of deliberation, the Santa Monica, CA jury awarded the plaintiffs $1.8 million total; however, they found the decedent 72% liable. Accordingly, the net verdict value against Poole & Shaffery’s clients was $518,700.00. Moreover, Poole & Shaffery was able to work out an agreement with the plaintiffs in which no judgment would be entered against their clients and that both sides would waive their right to appeal.
This marks the 11th favorable verdict over the past 6 years that Poole & Shaffery has successfully obtained.