Zausmer shareholder Jim Wright obtained yet another impressive victory on behalf of a client – his third no-cause verdict in four months.
On April 20, 2016, a Wayne County jury took just ten minutes to find in favor of Jim’s client in this third-party automobile negligence action, a testament to his outstanding courtroom advocacy skills.
The plaintiff claimed to have suffered a serious impairment of body function in an August 2014 automobile accident in which his truck was rear-ended by another vehicle. Specifically, he asserted that the accident caused cervical radiculopathy and thoracic outlet syndrome, which his treating physician claimed would require surgery to remove one of his ribs, a procedure that the doctor testified was so serious that three of his other patients died while undergoing the operation. The plaintiff sought $600,000 in damages.
As Jim argued to the jury, the facts simply did not support the plaintiff’s claim. He told jurors how the plaintiff admitted that his body did not strike anything inside of his truck at the time of the accident; that the parties agreed to drive to the police station to make a report rather than summon the police to the scene; that the police report indicated relatively minor damage to both vehicles; that the truck’s airbag did not deploy; and that the plaintiff refused medical treatment.
Unswayed by the plaintiff attorney’s attempt to curry sympathy for his client merely because he was a Vietnam combat veteran, Jim convinced the jury that the accident could not have caused the plaintiff’s thoracic outlet syndrome. It took jurors only ten minutes to reach their unanimous decision.
Though the plaintiff initially demanded $600,000, a pre-trial case evaluation panel recommended an award of $200,000, which the plaintiff rejected. That rejection now allows Jim to seek sanctions against the plaintiff.