Ted B. Wacker · Haytham Faraj
This was a head-on collision caused by a Uhaul employee attempting to unsafely pass two other vehicles on a road with only one-lane in each direction. The Uhaul driver went head on into the Roman vehicle.
Mr. Roman suffered head, neck, shoulder, elbow and knee injuries resulting in surgeries to the right elbow and left knee. Specifically, a comminuted tibial plateau fracture with plates and screws inserted.
The defense claimed that after the initial knee surgery Mr. Roman put weight on his left leg against medical advice and this resulted in the plate bending and screws breaking. And as result of Mr. Roman's own negligence, he then needed a further surgery to remove this hardware. And then following that surgery he developed an osteomyelitis infection causing further debridement surgeries. The defense argued this was all Mr. Roman's fault for weight bearing against medical advice and the screws broke since he weighed over 450 pounds.
The plaintiffs claimed that while he may have broke the screws he was taking care of himself reasonably under the circumstances given his broken knee and broken right arm.
The plaintiffs further claimed that since his leg suffered the infection and debridement he would likely have his leg amputated in the future. The defense claimed his leg was healed and he would not need an amputation and even if he did it was his responsibility as he was weight bearing on the leg against medical advice.
The defense claimed this negligence of plaintiff after the accident should therefore limit his damages. The defense argued the total damages related to the accident were less than $1 Million. Plaintiffs claimed damages were closer to $23 Million.
The jury awarded over $21 Million.
1. Bring in top co-counsel to help try the case. We split up opening and closing. Haytham was phenomenal
2. Hire the best orthopedic expert. Doug Smith, MD is incredible
3. Document and photograph the injuries at all stages
4. Don’t over try it. We called 6 witnesses. 2 plaintiffs, 2 family members, 2 experts
5. Don’t hide or run away from bad facts. Deal with them up front and let the jury know the defense wants to hang there hat on them. Tell the truth
6. Tell the jury a story. Weave in the accident and injuries into their life story.
7. Breakdown the human damages into before and after with specific examples.
8. spend time with the plaintiff and his family in their home, in their environment and spend many days talking to them and preparing them for trial
9. Using different visual aids. We used photos, imaging studies, medical animations, in-court hand made drawings, charts and timelines, impeachment videos and then in person demonstrations or visual show and tell with plaintiffs leg, walker, knee braces, scooter
10.Voir Dire- handling the bias of a morbidly obese plaintiff with prior felony convictions during jury selection