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Clancy BoylanDan Ambrose

Clancy Boylan · Dan Ambrose

Car Wreck Case - $11,997,284.64 verdict

TLU Icon May 16, 2024 5:30 PM||TLU n Demand

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Car wreck case - $11,997,284.64 verdict
Past Meds - $172,284.64
Future Meds - $650,000
P&F P&S - $10,000,000
Loss of Enjoyment - $625,000
Embarrasment & humiliation - $500,000
Scarring & Disfigurement - $50,000

Overview of case: The Defendant in this case was Jaylin Roberts who was in the couse and scope of his employment with Penske Trucking. Mr. Roberts struck my client, Yvette Torres, in the middle of the crosswalk when Ms. Torres had the right of way. Ms. Torres suffered a herniated disc in her neck, and in her back. She did five months of chiro, and then three months later started with injections. She received three injections in her neck and then three in her back. About fourteen months post crash, we sent her for an IME. The IME doctor explained to her that she was showing signs of myelopathy and that she would need surgery. Client loved how detailed the Doctor was and agreed to have him do the surgery. The Doctor also opined that she would need back surgery, as well as an adjacent level surgery. Plaintiff’s demand was $4m and on day 1 of trial, Penske offered $2.3m. Client rejected and we went to verdict. After closings we offered a high low of $2 to $4m which they rejected.

Focus Groups: We did not do any focus groups. The mediator put a mediator’s number on the case of $1.8m. We didn’t conduct a focus group on any of the 6 verdicts we got over the last 8 months.

Motions in Liminae: Plaintiff filed collateral source motion which was granted. Defense filed motions to strike late reports, to not allow us to do reptile, to not allow us to appeal to sense of justice, to not allow us to bring up the fact that they only admitted negligence on day one. Judge denied all of them.

Voir dire: We asked four questions:

(1) Do you have any preconceived opinions about people who bring lawsuits for personal injury

(2) Have you or anyone close to you undergone spinal surgery

(3) Do you believe there should be a maximum amount of damages that should be awarded in a case like this;

(4) have you ever crossed a street in center city Philly. In Philly for a case like this, we get very little leeway on what we can ask outside of their answers on the jury form. We have never used a jury consultant. Hannah picked an incredible jury, her second 8 figure jury. It was a sophisticated jury with an engineer, a non-profit lawyer, a sales exec.

Opening statement: We don’t use powerpoints for opening or closing. Our theme was accountability / taking responsibility. They had challenged liability up until five mins before openings when they said they would stipulate to negligence. We told em to shove that stipulation up their ass. We then had to make a quick pivot, knowing they were going to stand up and say we are at fault. A quick google search revealed that it had been 877 days since the Penske truck hit our client. We used that to say for 877 days this massive trucking company has refused to accept responsibility for its actions, instead blaming our client. We expect that in a few minutes counsel will stand up and say they are responsible for this crash to make you think they are being reasonable. See right through it when they do it. If they were actually taking responsibility, they would have admitted they were at fault the moment they hit our client in the crosswalk. Openings we started preparing about a week out. We like to keep them short – 5 to 7 mins at the most. The other theme we used was that Penske refused to listen to our client. They’ve ignored her since day one, which worked out perfectly when Penske failed to send a real corporate designee.

Order of proof: We called our accident recon first live. We had him sit through openings because Alex Hyder knew Defense counsel was going to say this was a low speed impact. So Alex asked him about this and Justin Schorr gave great analogies how forceful the impact actually was? Next we called the corporate designee. I’m a big believer in something I call “flip the script”. I want the focus off our client and on the other table at all times until I deliver my closing argument on non-economics. Anything we can do to anger or piss off the jury, or make the other side look unreasonable we will. I called the corporate designee for two topics – post crash surveillance and refusal to accept responsibility until day 1 of trial. At the end of the cross, he admitted he was not proud to work for Penske. After that we called the Defendant. Defendant was an extremely likeable young man. Prior to accepting fault, Alex had a hunch the Defendant would admit he was wrong. We pivoted slightly after he said he was wrong and asked him when he told Penske he was at fault. He said that day. Powerful testimony. He then apologized to our client which played into closing arguments. We next called the one of the surveillance people. They had used 12 different people to surveil our client. We told them we were going to call all twelve, so they had to bring them all into the courtroom which we used to our advantage. We then played our medical (Neurorad and ortho). We then called client. Followed by life care planner and finished with client’s wife.

Defense witnesses: Defense called their ortho, filed by life care planner. They then recalled Plaintiff to impeach her on a non-collateral issue that wasn’t even an impeachment.

Closing argument: I prepared my closing throughout the three days of trial, mostly on the night before. I started with mini – opening, followed by Penske putting our client on trial. I then called out their insinuation that our client was a liar, cheat and fraud. Then touched on fact that Penske didn’t show up to trial. Didn’t have the guts to answer my questions, instead throwing a low level manager to the wolves. Said they didn’t care, but you can make them care, and here’s how. Which led to walking them through verdict slip (past meds, future meds). Then did noneconomics, empowered the jury and finished with this highly objectionable (but not objected to ending)

When you hurt somebody, you don’t go interrogate their life, you don’t surveil them, you don’t blame them, you do the right thing. You have the power to tell them that. But guess what? They’re not going to hear you because they ain’t here. So for them to hear that, your verdict needs to travel, across 76, up 176, onto the elevator of their corporate tower, up into the executive suite, and needs to reverberate in every single office of those executives who didn’t have the guts to show up in that chair; and the only way you could do that is through the size of your verdict.

Defense focused their closing on the following:

(1) Morgan & Morgan manufactured the case;

(2) Yvette Torres wasn’t hurt based on two tik tok’s showing here dancing and trying to do a push up; and

(3) that her injuries were all degenerative and not related to the crash.

Rebuttal: Prepared it while they were giving closing. The main crux of my rebuttal was that client had lived 48,720 minutes since being hit by the Penske truck (totally made up number) and they showed you two minutes of her life and acted like it was supposed to mean she wasn’t hurt. Where were the videos of her leaving therapy, walking into surgery, leaving surgery. They were just trying to distract you from the truth. I think finished by saying everyone in the courtroom will go about their day tomorrow and forget about Ms. Torres. But she will live this case every day for the rest of her life because of what that table did to her. Ask for one thing, go back in that room and fight for her.