Donnelly v. Wong

J. Kevin Morrison

Case Conclusion Date:December 10, 2008

Practice Area:Car / Auto Accident

Outcome:Plainitff's verdict for $356,807.

Description:Plaintiff was a passenger in his wife's vehicle which was traveling in downtown San Francisco. The vehicle stopped in traffic during the morning rush hour, and plaintiff exited, walked around to the back, and began crossing the street toward the sidewalk in the middle of the block. He was struck by an SUV who was headed in the same direction as plaintiff's vehicle, in an adjacent lane. Neither party saw the other before the collision. Plaintiff sued the SUV driver alleging that he was in an unmarked, implied crosswalk and had the right of way. Defendant claimed plaintiff was solely and completely at fault, and that plaintiff walked between cars and into the side of defendants SUV. Plaintiff suffered a badly broken ankle, and his past medical bills were approx. $96,000, and he was not able to work as much as a corporate attorney for a few months, and claimed lost earning of about $50,000. He also claimed future medical expenses of about $30,000 and past and future pain and suffering for arthritis. Plaintiff acknowledged partial responsibility, but claimed Defendant was primarily at fault. Before trial, he offered to settle for $100,000. Defendant, insured by State Farm, offered no money. The case proceeded to trial, and Plaintiff prevailed. He was awarded all of his past and future medical expenses, all his wage loss, and past pain and suffering of $100,000 and future of $80,000. His total award was $356,807. Defendant was unanimously found negligent, and the jury apportioned fault 55% to Defendant and 45% to plaintiff. Pursuant to California law, plaintiff's damages were reduced by 45%. Since plaintiff's verdict exceeded his pretrial offer to settle via Section 998 of the Code of Civil Procedure, plaintiff was awarded his costs of $50,000 and prejudgment interest.

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