$141,000 Verdict on a $25,000 Offer with No Physical Injuries
Posted by Trialguides Admin on Feb 04, 2020
This was a car wreck case. No physical injuries or medical bills resulted from the wreck. At the time of the accident, the plaintiff’s two-year-old son was being treated for cancer. Three months later, the plaintiff’s son passed away. Although the son’s passing was not a result of the wreck, the value of the time the family lost with their dying child became the damages in the case. The plaintiffs were continuously jerked around by the insurance company on issues pertaining to their rental car, repairs, etc. They were even getting voicemails from the insurance company almost a year after the crash—even on the same day they were spreading their son’s ashes. The family was only ever offered $25,000 for the claim.
The plaintiff’s attorney, Kyle White of White, Davis & White Law Firm in Anderson South Carolina used lessons from Don’t Eat the Bruises, David Ball on Damages, Rules of the Road, and Running with the Bulls. White focused on the defendant’s “rule breaking” conduct taken from Rules of the Road. The defendant's decision to not follow the rules and run a stop sign put lives in danger—he could have killed someone. White also used advice from Don’t Eat the Bruises and used language like “crash” instead of “accident” and “ploughed through the stop sign and slammed into the plaintiff” instead of “ran a stop sign and hit the plaintiff.”
White also used Mitnik’s argument that all time is not equal. The family wanted to make the most of the time that they had left with their child. White argued that the time making memories, taking photos, spending time with siblings, were all affected and cut short because the defendant ran a stop sign. The family calculated they had lost 380,000 minutes of time they could have spent with their child because of this wreck.
White used a concept in David Ball on Damages and asked the jury to assign a price per minute of time the family lost. The jury awarded $0.37 per minute and awarded a verdict of $141,000. White used advice from Running with the Bulls to set a high and low on the case so that there were no appeal or post-trial motions.