(San Diego, CA). In another victory for the team at WSHB, partner Ranjan Lahiri and senior counsel Sarah Spaulding obtained an outstanding verdict for the client, defeating Plaintiff’s 998 offer. Plaintiff who was injured while inside a self-storage unit demanded $1,175,000 in damages.
“Some cases need to be tried because the demands make the case unresolvable before trial,” said trial attorney Ranjan Lahiri, a partner in the San Diego office of WSHB. “Despite a nominal amount of economic damages and a dearth of medical treatment for his injuries, Plaintiff demanded the policy limits on three separate occasions. Despite two mediations and numerous attempts to resolve the case prior to trial, in the end, neither side had any other option but to try the case.”
Plaintiff suffered a myriad of personal injuries when he fell off a box in his self-storage unit, grabbed a sheet metal header, and cut three fingers on his right dominant hand. Plaintiff testified to permanent numbness, tingling, and chronic pain in his hand. Prior to the suit being filed, Plaintiff’s counsel made a $1,000,000 policy limits demand. WSHB represented owners and managers of the self-storage facility.
The trial lasted six and a half days. Plaintiff had requested an award of $1,175,000 in damages, including $800,000 in future medical care for the surgical placement of a spinal cord stimulator and $350,000 in pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. After almost two days of deliberation, the jury returned a verdict in the amount of $280,000 ($80,000 for medical expenses and $200,000 for pain and suffering as well as loss of enjoyment of life). The jury found liability against the defendants, but also unanimously found that Plaintiff was 25% comparatively at fault, reducing the net verdict to $210,000. This was well under Plaintiff’s pre-trial 998 demand and a favorable result for the client.
“With all the buzz about social inflation in the post-pandemic trial era, this verdict reminds our clients that juries can still see through the bluster,” said Lahiri. “In this case, while the jury disagreed with our liability arguments, they clearly agreed with our damages arguments and were suspicious of the exorbitant ask that was made of them by Plaintiff during trial.”
Congratulations to Ranjan and Sarah for their hard work! Yet another great result from the team at WSHB.