Perrier & Lacoste Obtained Defense Verdict for National Trucking Company on Damages Only Case – April 2015
After a seven day jury trial in Monroe, Louisiana the Perrier & Lacoste litigation team of Guy Perrier and Ralph Aucoin, Jr., were able to obtain a very favorable defense verdict. Plaintiff sought damages totaling $3M. The jury awarded only $51,739.65 in damages to the plaintiff and $10,000 for loss of consortium to his wife.
The case involved damages only. The insured drove away form a loading dock with the plaintiff still in the trailer unloading it with a forklift. Both the plaintiff and the forklift fell out. The forklift landed on its wheels and plaintiff remained in the seat. He had not returned to work by the time of the trial over 4 ½ years post-accident, despite multiple doctors clearing him to do so. He had a total of 6 MRI’s and 2 EMG studies. The films and tests were essentially negative with the exception of some minor bulges that the defense expert testified were part of the normal aging process. No surgery was recommended. Plaintiff’s argument was that he was a chronic pain patient and was going to need treatment for the remainder of his life. Plaintiff’s vocational rehabilitation expert and economist were completely discredited and the jury ignored their reports which totaled $1,846,494.13 for lost earnings, lost earning capacity, past medicals, and future medical expenses.
Opposing counsel tried to oversell the injuries arguing that it was worse than a surgery case because there was nothing that could be done to fix the plaintiff. Facebook photos were a big factor, showing Plaintiff at NBA, NFL, high school, and college events. He also posted photos on vacation, at concerts, the beach and an amusement and water park. The jury didn’t buy plaintiff’s argument. Perrier and Aucoin further convinced the jury to reduce Plaintiff’s recovery by 55% due to his failure to mitigate his damages.
Post-trial plaintiffs filed a Motion for Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict asking the trial court Judge to increase their total damage awards from $61,739.65 to $2,340,638.00. Defendants were successful in opposing the motion which was denied resulting in the jury verdict and trial judgment remaining intact. A motion for judgment on defendants’ offer of judgment to recover costs and expenses for bringing this case to trial is being considered. The matter is on appeal.