Wesierski & Zurek partner Ron Zurek recently had a trial that was featured as the Daily Journal Top Defense Case of the week on November 3, 2017. It was a trial for personal injury damages that arose out of a car accident that occurred when Ron’s defendant, intending to turn into the driveway of his home on the right side of the street, veered considerably to the left on the roadway before turning back to the right and into the driveway. The plaintiff who sued him was driving behind him. When the car veered far left, toward an intersecting street, plaintiff thought it was a left turn so he proceeded forward and past the defendant car. A collision ensued when defendant car came back to the right.
Plaintiff hurt his back in the accident. His doctor recommended a microdiscectomy operation and he had it. As a result of that operation, one of the vertebrae in plaintiffs back cracked and fractured, rendering the back unstable. The instability condition is very serious and every doctor in the case said that the plaintiff is now in need of another major operation, a fusion to several levels of the spine. Medical costs were well into the six figure range. Plaintiff is now significantly disabled. At trial, the defense position was that the defendant driver was just not negligent despite turning right from the left side of the street. As to injuries, the contention was that the first microdiscectomy was unnecessary and unreasonable, thus all of the consequential injury was not fairly attributable to accident caused injuries.
Plaintiff had previously offered to settle for $250,000, which was all of the insurance coverage available to the defendant. A settlement offer of $75,000 was made before trial. The jury ultimately decided in favor of the defendant, finding that he was responsible for zero because he was not negligent. Congrats to Ron and his client!