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SOURCE Berman & Riedel, LLP
SAN DIEGO, April 30, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- A San Diego jury, following a six day trial held in the Downtown Central Branch of the San Diego Superior Court, found in favor of a Berman & Riedel, LLP client who had suffered serious personal injuries when she was involved in an automobile accident on Halloween morning, October 31, 2010, in Chula Vista, CA. While sitting at a red-light as a restrained front seat passenger in a vehicle driven by her husband, the client's vehicle was rear-ended at a very high rate of speed. Their 2 year old son was also in the back seat of the vehicle.
Being 34.5 weeks pregnant at the time, the client was rushed to the hospital with complaints of severe abdominal pain. At the hospital, she was diagnosed by maternal fetal-medicine specialists as having suffered an abruption of her placenta, thereby placing the baby at risk. Within hours of the diagnosis, an emergency cesarean-section surgery was performed. The surgery was successful, however, the client's new-born baby daughter had to stay in the NICU for 10 days so that her lungs could more fully develop.
Following the accident, the Berman & Riedel client, a former Officer with the U.S. Navy, developed bruising and pain in her lower-back and to her knees. These injuries required six-months of intensive physical therapy, but eventually resolved. More serious, however, she suffered a persistent urinary urge and frequency incontinence. Her medical physicians believed that during the forceful impact, damage had been caused to the nerves that control bladder-function.
Despite admitting liability for causing the accident to occur, State Farm Insurance in defense disputed the client's claim that the accident caused the persistent urinary urge and frequency incontinence. At trial, defense counsel argued that the incontinence was not the result of the car accident but rather the result of strains placed upon her uterine floor due to her being a lifetime long-distance runner coupled with her carrying the weight of two pregnancies. Arguing that the client had, at most, suffered the need for an emergent cesarean-section surgery (which they reminded the jury was successful) and the need for six months of physical therapy (for what they called minor "soft-tissue" injuries), the defense suggested that the jury should award plaintiff total damages in an amount between $75,000 and $100,000.
After six days of trial where multiple medical experts were called to testify about the client's injuries, the jury rendered a verdict in her favor in the amount of $1,018,000. The verdict was especially gratifying in that no money was sought for past incurred medical expenses and only $25,000 was asked for future medical expenses (so that the client could undergo the specific outpatient medical procedure that the medical expert testified she needed to resolve the incontinence). With no lost earnings claim, the bulk of the jury's $1,018,000 award came in the form of non-economic "pain and suffering" damages ($993,000).
The trial lawyers of Berman & Riedel, LLP found it extremely gratifying to achieve this result, and especially for client of such high moral character. In addition to feeling an overwhelming sense of joy for their client,Berman & Riedel expressed immense gratitude for their entire staff. These individuals worked tirelessly in trying this personal injury case against two very strong defense attorneys who try many cases for State Farm Insurance and thus have unlimited resources.
In a case where State Farm had rejected the client's earlier demand of $200,000 to settle the case and avoid trial, Berman & Riedel tried the case and obtained an outstanding verdict on her behalf. Three months following trial, the client received a check from State Farm to satisfy the Judgment, which together with prevailing party costs, CCP §998 costs, and legal interests totaled an amount of $1,197,400.76. In sum, State Farm paid nearly $1,000,000 more than the $200,000 demand that the client had offered to settle her case for six months earlier before trial. A truly exceptional woman, this client deserved the jury's verdict and the entire staff at Berman & Riedel is extremely happy that she obtained the justice that the legal system was established to provide.
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