JSH Reporter Summer 2016 - Page 27

CASESOFNOTE 027 Pulido v. AAA Insurance April 20, 2016 Mike Halvorson and David Potts MIKE HALVORSON AND DAVID POTTS OBTAINED A DEFENSE VERDICT IN FAVOR OF AAA MEMBERS INSURANCE COMPANY IN A TWO-WEEK TRIAL CONCERNING A PEDESTRIAN-VEHICLE ACCIDENT accelerated past several cars that were stopped at the crosswalk yielding to Plaintiff as he was crossing the street. In its defense, AAA alleged that the driver was not at fault as his speed was reasonable and he had a green light. Instead, Plaintiff was solely at fault for remaining in the crosswalk and running against a red “don’t walk” pedestrian signal. The trial lasted seven days. During closing arguments, Plaintiff asked the jury to award him between $1,035,473.20 and $1,150,525.80. The jury was out for 3 ½ hours before returning a complete defense verdict for AAA Members Insurance Company. Watts v. Medicis Pharmaceutical January 21, 2016 Lori Voepel, Don Myles, and Josh Snell Plaintiff, a 15-year-old sophomore at Pinnacle High School, was leaving a high school football game with friends. As the group was lawfully crossing a controlled intersection, Plaintiff’s girlfriend told Plaintiff she had dropped her Chapstick within the marked crosswalk. Plaintiff went back to pick up the Chapstick and, as he was returning to his group of friends, was struck by a vehicle driven by a non-party driver. Just before the impact, the solid red “don’t walk” pedestrian signal had illuminated. The non-party driver observed his light turn green as he approached the intersection, so he accelerated into the crosswalk, striking Plaintiff. It was undisputed that the accident caused Plaintiff to suffer numerous pelvic and lumbar fractures, and Plaintiff continues to suffer chronic pain in his groin and sacroiliac joint (SI) joint. Plaintiff called an orthopedic surgeon and a pain management specialist who both testified that the fractures in and around Plaintiff’s SI joint healed as a painful protrusion and would develop significant arthritis within ten years necessitating radiofrequency ablations, steroid injections, and eventually a fusion of the joint. These experts also testified that Plaintiff’s pubic symphysis healed in an uneven, asymmetrical manner, which is causing further chronic inguinal pain. Both the SI joint and inguinal pain will continue to increase for the remainder of his 60+ year life expectancy. Plaintiff also called an ENT doctor to testify that Plaintiff suffered a broken nose and a deviated septum, and Plaintiff will need surgery to correct those conditions as well. In addition, Plaintiff suffered a mild traumatic brain injury in the accident. He called a neuropsychologist to testify that Plaintiff currently has trouble with various aspects of executive functioning. Plaintiff also continues to suffer from hypervigilance and anxiety as a result of the accident, which he will need treatment and medication to overcome. The driver’s liability insurance company paid its $100,000 policy limits to Plaintiff. Plaintiff then sued AAA Members Insurance Company for breach of contrac