Oppenheim & Escobar Receive Favorable Jury Verdict Awarding Only 1% of Settlement Demand

Roger Oppenheim and David Escobar from our Houston office recently received a favorable verdict in an eight-year-long case resulting from a motor vehicle crash at an uncontrolled intersection. Mayer’s client, unfamiliar with the intersection, approached it as a four-way stop believing the traffic lights were malfunctioning. The Plaintiff, who traveled the road daily, knew the lights were under construction and therefore proceeded through the intersection as usual. Mayer argued there is a statute stating that drivers should treat malfunctioning lights as a four-way stop, therefore there was no negligence on behalf of the Defendant and Plaintiff was negligent.

The Plaintiff’s last settlement demand was $300,000 which was rejected by the insurance carrier, so the case went to trial. At trial, the Plaintiff asked the jury to award $2.8 million for future medical bills, past and future pain and suffering, and past and future physical impairment.  

Roger and David obtained evidence that the Plaintiff did not follow medical advice after the crash and had a prior injury that may have contributed to the alleged pain. The Plaintiff’s social media activity also revealed a highly active lifestyle that was contradictory to the pain and suffering described on the stand. Surveillance was shown to the jury that depicted the Plaintiff as not having any problems getting around.  

The jury found the Defendant was liable for the crash, but only awarded $30,000 in damages, split evenly between future medical and past pain. They did not award anything for future pain and suffering, past/future physical impairment, or past loss of earning capacity.