The jury verdict appeared to be low (less than $100,000), considering the plaintiff’s injuries and surgeries, as well as future medical expenses projected at more than $4 million. Plaintiff’s vehicle had been rear ended by a jitney bus, so liability was clear. On appeal, he argued for a new trial due to the low verdict being a result of improper defense tactics.
The appeals court also considered prejudicial cross examination of plaintiff’s medical experts by the defense, particularly implying that the plaintiff’s attorney was directing plaintiff’s medical treatment.
Further, the court found the defense’s arguments about air bags failing to deploy, improper without expert testimony. It also found questioning about the ages of the passengers in plaintiff’s vehicle and whether they had sued the defendant, to be prejudicial to the plaintiff.
The bottom line is that this decision shows that the judicial system has a lot of built in safeguards, such as the appellate process, to protect litigants, and in the above case, justice did prevail.