John Fedor Obtains Quick Unanimous Defense Verdict in Premises Liability Case
John Fedor recently completed a 5-day trial in Los Angeles County Superior Court – East District – Pomona South Courthouse that resulted in a quick unanimous defense verdict. While walking through a parking lot of a Los Angeles hotel during a rainstorm, plaintiff fell in the area of a fire lane curb re-painted red the prior day. Plaintiff sustained a spiral fracture of his left leg just above his ankle, had conservative treatment, and claimed that he now needed surgery and rehabilitation. Plaintiff requested the jury award at least $700,000 for his past and future medical expenses, including surgery, and lost profits as he was unable to plant a crop on his Argentina farm for one season during his rehabilitation. A mere 30 minutes after first leaving the jury box to begin deliberations, the jury reached a defense verdict on the issue of liability; polling revealed a unanimous 12 – 0 verdict.
Post-trial discussions with jurors revealed that cross-examination of the plaintiff and plaintiff’s biomechanical engineer were key and left the jury wondering how and why the plaintiff fell. Further, jurors stated that that however plaintiff fell, the defense witnesses showed that the fall was not due to any dangerous condition created or maintained by the hotel. While never reaching the damages issues, the jury indicated they had accepted the defense arguments that plaintiff’s damages were minimal and did not include lost profits, and that future surgery was unnecessary.