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Diaz v. Defendant Trucking Company

Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois (Judge Clare Elizabeth McWilliams)10/21/2011


Defendant Trucking Company


Verdict less than last settlement offer

The case was tried on damages only after DBMS's client and a co-defendant admitted liability for a rear end semi-trailer collision that rendered the 47 year-old plaintiff a quadriplegic. Pre-verdict negotiations were unsuccessful, with plaintiff's last settlement demand at $48 million after the defense had offered $25 million. During trial, plaintiff's experts testified that the plaintiff had incurred past medical expenses of $3.4 million (stipulated by the parties), and would incur future medical and home care costs of $18.5 million. In closing arguments plaintiff's counsel requested an award of $102 million comprised of $22 million in past/future medical and home care costs, and $80 million for loss of normal life, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and disfigurement. DBMS recommended that the jury award past/future care costs of $11.9 million and $10 million in non-economic damages. The jury returned a verdict awarding the plaintiff  $13 million for past/future medical and home care costs, and $10 million in non-economic damages.

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