After a three-day jury trial in which the plaintiff asked for over $12 million in damages, Zausmer Shareholder Cinnamon Plonka obtained a no cause of action verdict when the jury found that her client, Trinity Transportation, was not negligent.
The case involved allegations that the plaintiff, who has cerebral palsy and was already blind in his right eye, sustained injuries to his left eye resulting in complete blindness after a single car incident in a store parking lot. The plaintiff alleged that this low-speed incident caused a retinal detachment, which ultimately led to left eye blindness.
At trial, the defense presented evidence showing that the incident involved a single tap of the brakes to avoid striking a passing pedestrian in a busy grocery store parking lot rather than the traumatic collision plaintiff cited as the inciting event for his claim.
The plaintiff further alleged that the left eye blindness was a new injury, entirely brought on by the single-car incident. In rebutting this allegation, the defense relied on the testimony of its expert physician, as well as that of two of the plaintiff’s own treating providers, to show that the left eye condition that eventually led to surgical intervention resulting in blindness was caused by a host of pre-existing eye conditions, which pre-dated the incident by over a decade. The defense’s expert and the plaintiff’s treating physicians all testified that any one of the plaintiff’s myriad of pre-existing conditions could have caused blindness in the left eye, which was inconsistent with the plaintiff’s position that the condition of the eye was a “new” injury as a result of the alleged accident.
After less than two hours of deliberating, the jury returned a verdict for the defense, finding that Trinity Transportation was not negligent. A no cause of action judgment has been entered in favor of the defense.