Bexar County Verdicts
Personal Injury Cases
Cause Number: 332083
Style: Maria Garcia vs. Norma Guerrero and Elaine Araiza
Plaintiff’s counsel: Alex Aguirre
Defense counsel for Elaine Araiza: Scott P. Jones
According to the Plaintiff she was rear-ended by Guerrero and knocked into another car. Then Araiza, rear-ended Guerrero and knocked her back into the Plaintiff.
Guerrero claimed that the Plaintiff ran into the car in front of her on her own. Guerrero claims she stopped and got hit by Araiza and only tapped the Plaintiff.
Plaintiff had $3,000.00 in medical expenses, $3,000.00 in property damage, and claimed $15,000.00 in loss of use.
Plaintiff sought $65,000.00 in her pleadings.
Plaintiff refused a settlement offer of $5,000.00 from Araiza plus a few thousand dollars from Allstate. The case proceeded to trial.The Plaintiff argued that neither Defendant took responsibility for the accident.
Araiza admitted hitting Guerrero. Guerrero stood firm with her position. Both contended the Plaintiff was not hurt badly. Counsel for Araiza contended that the second impact was so minimal that it did not contribute to the injury at all. The court submitted the comparative issue based on contribution to the injury.
The jury found that all three were negligent, but that the Plaintiff contributed 49% to her injury, Guerrero contributed 51% to her injury and that Araiza contributed 0% to the injury.
The jury awarded $3,000.00 for medical expenses, $3,000.00 for property damage, $1,000.00 for lost wages (which is the amount the Plaintiff claimed), $0 for loss of use, $0 for physical pain and mental anguish, and $0 for physical impairment.
Date of Verdict: July 8, 2009.
In the 408th District Court before Judge Larry Noll.
Plaintiff’s counsel: Richard F. Neville, III.
Defense counsel was Rinaldo Gonzales, assisted by Hugo De Los Santos.
Plaintiff was 78 years old at the time and tripped over a milk crate by the corn display at a Super S Food Store in Castroville. She was taken to Methodist Hospital by EMS. The milk crate had corn husks in it and the plaintiff alleged the store put the crate there for that purpose. The store denied the milk crate was ever there.
Client had a shoulder fracture and after it failed to heal properly she had a shoulder replacement surgery 6 months later by Dr. Bud Curtis with Dr. Richard Steffen assisting.
Witnesses included the plaintiff and her husband; a friend that testified about the plaintiff's condition before and after the injury; 2 other friends (including a deputy sheriff) who testified to having seen a similar crate being used at the store for the same purpose a week after the accident, and a couple of other times and Dr. Steffen, who testified live.
Defense witnesses included their human resources director and the store manager. The store manager testified that after the accident the plaintiff got up, apologized, said her knee had been giving out on her, and continued with her shopping. The defense said she wasn't taken from the store by EMS.
Pretrial demand was $250k. $0 offer.
Past medical bills were $106,000.00 (billed).
Verdict (10-2): 100% liability on Defendant.
Past medical: $106,000.00.
Future medical: $4,000.00.
Past pain and mental anguish: $25,000.00.
Future pain and mental anguish: 0.00.
Past impairment: $7,500.00.
Judge: Honorable David Rodriguez
County Court at Law #3
Cause No. 327770
Cassie Gonce vs. Maria A. Valle
Defense Atty: Hella V. Scheuerman
SUSAN L. FLORENCE & ASSOCIATES
112 E. Pecan Street, Suite 720
San Antonio, Texas, 78205
Plaintiff’s Atty: Dennis Peery
TYLER & PEERY
5822 West IH-10
San Antonio, Texas 78201-2851
Type of case: intersectional collision, liability not disputed. Allstate stipulated to liability, case tried on damages. Highest offer by Allstate was $5,400 at mediation. Lowest demand by Plaintiff was $9,000. Case was tried in 1 day with Dr Joyner, chiropractor, testifying live. Total medical bills submitted were $6,700. Jury awarded $6,400 in medical and $2,000 for PP&MA. Total amount of judgment was $8,400.
Judgment amount $8,410.00
Taxable court costs $1,844.47
Prejudgment interest $ 892.84
Total amount paid by Allstate $11,147.31
Judge: Honorable Irene Rios
Court: County Court #10
Cause No.: 331556
Date of Verdict: April 28, 2009
Plaintiff’s Counsel: Desi I. Martinez
3322 SE Military Drive, Suite 102
San Antonio, Texas
Defendant Counsel: Jim Upton
UPTON MICKITTS & HEYMAN, L.L.P.
10999 IH 10 West, Suite 204
San Antonio, Texas 78230
Plaintiff information: Dulce Casas – student/19 at time of accident
Defendant information: Ariel Boothe – 21 at time of accident
Type of case: personal injury – rear-end automobile collision
Injuries/Damages: EMS transport, ER visit & chiropractic care for shoulder, neck, upper back, and lower back pain. Contained disc bulge at L4-L5. Trigger point injections and medication recommended, post therapy.
Plaintiff’s auto damages: 1996 Mercedes; BD -2
Defendant’s auto damages: Small Nissan SUV; FD-1
Plaintiff’s expert by way of video deposition: Dr. Sanjay Misra, Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon
Defendant’s expert by way of video deposition: Dr. Arnulfo Garza-Vale, Board Certified Nuerosurgeon
Past Medical Specials: $12, 269.
Summary: Plaintiff was rear-ended while she was stopped at an intersection. It had been raining during the day. Partial summary judgment on liability was granted in plaintiff’s favor prior to trial. Plaintiff was transported by EMS to hospital. Plaintiff found a chiropractor about one week after the accident. MRI’s revealed a contained disc bulge. She visited Dr. Misra a month after chiropractic treatment ended for trigger point injections. A difficult, bed-ridden pregnancy stalled Dr. Misra’s treatment for months at a time. Plaintiff continued to see Dr. Misra for trigger point injections and medication after pregnancy. Dr. Garza-Vale indicated plaintiff’s back and MRI’s were “normal”. Dr. Misra indicated this type of injury was not “normal” for a female as young as plaintiff.
Settlement negotiations: Progressive was the third party insurance. The adjuster teased about going up to $10, 000 at mediation, but indicated that offer was never firm. Plaintiff walked out. No other offer was ever made before trial. The new adjuster assigned to the case called before trial to indicate the recent luck their expert had against plaintiff’s expert and questioned whether plaintiff really wanted to go to trial.
Verdict: Past medicals - $12,269; Future medicals - $12,269; Past pain and suffering - $5000; Future pain and suffering - $5000. Total verdict included court costs and interest for almost 1 ½ years since lawsuit filed.
Andrew E. Toscano received a $300K verdict, exclusive of costs and interest on March 27, 2009 in Judge Peden’s court. Rear end collision. $1,200.00 in prop damage to Plaintiff’s vehicle $800.00 to Defendant’s. Treaters were S.W. Diagnostic, Premier, Dr. Valdez, Dr. Misra and Dr. Joe Gonzalez. 33 year old with no previous history of back injury. Is now surgical after confirmed discs at L5-S1 and L4-L5 per positive discogram. Offer was about $58K before trial. $23K in related medical. $500K Farmer’s policy. They have indicated that they will pay. Greg Miller defended. $225k in future medicals $22.5k in past and the rest was split up between intangibles. Jury was 6 women 5 men. Went forward with eleven jurors after one juror didn’t show up on the first day of evidence. Called Misra and Gonzalez live.
Judge: Honorable David Rodriguez
Court: County Court No. 3
Cause No.: 314647
Date of Verdict: March 4, 2009
Plaintiff Counsel: PUTMAN & PUTMAN, INC.
28th Floor, Tower Life Building
310 S. St. Mary’s Street
San Antonio, Texas 78205
(210) 226-0228 (Fax)
By: Michael Putman and Vic Putman
Defendant Counsel: UPTON, MICKITS & HEYMANN, L.L.P.
10999 IH 10 West, Suite 240
San Antonio, Texas 78230
(210) 212-7677 (Fax)
By: Carole N. Harrod
Date & Venue of Accident: August 25, 2004, IH 35 N, San Antonio, Bexar County
Plaintiff Information: Christina Beltran - security courtesy officer/age 50
Defendant Information: Progressive County Mutual Insurance Company
Type of Case: UM/Motor Vehicle rear end collision - personal injury
Injuries/Damages: ER treatment for soft tissue injuries to the neck, shoulder, abdomen and lumbar back with six chiropractic visits
Plaintiff Auto/Damages: 1998 VW Jetta; FD-4/BD-3
Uninsured’s Auto/Damages:1997 Chevrolet Suburban; FD-2
Non-Party Auto/Damages: 1992 Chevrolet 1500 pickup; FD-1
Plaintiff’s Experts testifying by way of Affidavits: University Hospital; San Pedro Clinic Physical Therapy; Salvador Baylan, M.D. Plaintiff had designated and deposed Jack Leifer, Ph.D. for the opinion that force of impact cannot be determined by physical damage to the vehicle, but withdrew the designation prior to a hearing on Defendant’s challenge.
Defendant’s experts: None
Specials: Past Medical: $9,067.35
Summary: Plaintiff claimed she was rear ended in rush hour traffic by an uninsured motorist, causing Plaintiff to rear end the pickup in front of her. The uninsured motorist accepted full liability. The investigating police officer testified both Plaintiff and the uninsured motorist were at fault.
Plaintiff was transported by ambulance and treated at the ER for soft tissue injuries and, five days later, returned for abdominal pain. Plaintiff missed five days of work. Three weeks later, she treated for six physical therapy visits and was released from care seven weeks after the accident. Plaintiff claimed to still be suffering from pain and limitations more than four years after the accident.
Settlement Negotiations: Plaintiff consistently demanded policy limits of $25,000. The final offer of Progressive County Mutual Ins. Co. was $8,500.00. Progressive had previously paid $2,503.00 in PIP for which they claimed an offset.
Amount Plaintiff Requested of Jury: TOTAL: $34,323.89
Specifically, Plaintiff prayed for:
Medical - Past $9,067.35
Loss of Earnings- Past $256.54
Pain & Anguish - Past $6,250.00
Impairment - Past $6,250.00
Verdict: Plaintiff Verdict. The jury awarded partial past medicals, full loss of earnings and $500.00 in past physical pain and mental anguish. The jury also assigned 10% negligence to Plaintiff. Total Verdict with PIP offset: $4,879.85.
Length of trial: 1 ½ days
Jury Vote: unanimous
Jury Composition: 4 females and 2 males
Judge: Honorable Tim Johnson
Court: County Court #5
Cause No.: 339343
Date of Verdict: March 3, 2009
Plaintiff’s Counsel: Desi I. Martinez
3322 SE Military Drive, Suite 102
San Antonio, Texas
Defendant’s Counsel: Jeff Frey
2135 E. Hildebrand
San Antonio, Texas 78209
Plaintiff Information: Petronilla Lopez - maid/38 at time of accident
Defendant Information: Erasmo Martinez – factory worker/36 at time of accident
Type of Case: personal injury – rear end automobile collision
Injuries/Damages: ER visit, medication & chiropractic care for neck and back strains/sprains.
Plaintiff’s Auto Damages: 1995 Chevrolet 1500; BD -1
Defendant’s Auto Damages: 1995 Chevrolet 1500; FD-1
Plaintiff’s Expert by way of live testomony: Dr. Jack Leifer, PhD. Licensed Mechanical Engineer and Trinity University professor – testified about the energy involved in the collision and that the post-accident pictures of the vehicles did not accurately reflect said energy exchange.
Defendant’s Expert: None
Past Medical Specials: $4,183.75
Summary: Plaintiff was an unlicensed driver and had never driven her vehicle prior to the accident. Plaintiff’s husband was out of town and Plaintiff was warned about being late to work. Plaintiff decided to drive. Plaintiff was driving home from her first job when she came to a stop sign at El Paso and Zarzamora Street. As Plaintiff left the stop sign and entered the intersection, she was struck from behind by Defendant. Testimony revealed Plaintiff may have stopped after entering the intersection. However, testimony also revealed Defendant may not have looked both ways before entering the intersection. Plaintiff called a friend to the scene for transport to the Hospital. Plaintiff found a chiropractor within two-days following the accident and treated for roughly six weeks.
Settlement Negotiations: State Farm was the third party insurance carrier. The adjuster did not offer more than $500. $2,500 was the firm offer at mediation and Plaintiff walked out. No other offer was ever made before trial.
Verdict: Liability – Plaintiff = 20%, Defendant = 80%, Past medicals - $4,183.75. Lost wages - $2,100. Total verdict $8,653.81, inclusive of court costs and interest after deducting the percentage of fault placed on Plaintiff.
Cause No. 324694
Francisco Ceja v. Jean-Claude Kyam-Mande
Two Day Jury Trial
Jury composition: Four women and two men, five Anglo, one Hispanic
Jury was out three hours.
Date of Verdict: February 24, 2009
Judge Presiding: David Rodriguez
Plaintiff’s Counsel: Richard H. Silvas
Law Offices of Richard H. Silvas
5805 Callaghan Road, Suite 300
San Antonio, Texas 78228
Defense Counsel: Scott P. Jones and Raul B. Rodriguez
Jones, Navarro & Hintze
14526 Jones Maltsberger, Suite 200
San Antonio, Texas 78247
Party submitting summary: Defendant
Carrier: The Hartford
Plaintiff’s last demand: $20,000.00
Defendant’s last offer: $17,500.00
Plaintiff was a 37 years old truck driver.
Defendant was a 30 year old exchange student from the Congo in San Antonio for Folklife Festival.
This was a minor automobile accident which occurred on 6/11/06 at Commerce and St. Mary’s at 2:30 on a Sunday morning. Plaintiff contended a hard hit. Defendant said there were no injuries at the scene. Defendant stipulated to liability before voir dire.
Plaintiff claimed HNP L4-L5, L5-S1. Defendant claimed degenerated, arthritic discs from prior accident. Defendant claimed Plaintiff had recovered by September of 2006. Next visit to Dr. Misra was over one year later.
Plaintiff was called by representatives of the chiropractic clinic 4 days after the accident. Defendant argued that Plaintiff might not have been hurt at all and only treated because the chiropractor called him.
Dr. Sanjay Misra, orthopedic surgeon, testified by video deposition for Plaintiff. He confirmed the HNP L4-L5, L5-S1, as did the MRI. He testified surgery was necessary.
Dr. Arnulfo Garza-Valle, neurosurgeon, testified by video deposition for Defendant.
Plaintiff treated with for 3 months, had one visit 15 months later and one more visit 6 months after that.
Plaintiff had $6,000.00 in past medical bills. Dr. Misra testified to future medical of $75,000.00 to $85,000.00 for surgery.
Plaintiff asked the jury for $200,000.00.
The jury’s awarded $0.00 for past and future physical pain and suffering.
The jury’s awarded $0.00 for past medical care though Defendant conceded $6,000.00.
The jury’s awarded $0.00 for future medical care though Dr. Misra testified to $75,000.00 to $85,000.00.
Total verdict was $0.00.
Verdict in Judge Nellermoe’s court on February 2, 2009. Jury awarded 95k on 10k in specials. Verdict was 10-2. Plaintiff's Counsel was Andrew E. Toscano. Defense counsel was Steve Navarro with Frank Rivas’ office. Highway accident. My twenty-eight year old client was rear ended when traffic came to a stop in front of her during rush hour. Defendant was a mom who at time of the accident was three months pregnant with her second child, who thankfully was born without problems. She turned around to deal with her properly restrained two year old who the defense contended was crying. When she turned back around traffic had stopped in front of her. When she went to stomp her on brakes, her foot slipped off and hit the accelerator. Despite multiple attempts to get them to stipulate to liability and a motion for directed verdict which was denied, the jury decided yes to negligence and awarded $7,500.00 in past medical, $75,000.00 in future medical and $12,500.00 in future pain and suffering. The injuries consisted of three bulges at three levels, the worst being at L5-S1 which the doctors all agreed was more like a protrusion. She is not presently surgical and has not received any invasive treatment. Basically two courses of physical therapy, medications and a few MRI’s. Interestingly enough, State Farm hired an investigator who caught my client at Fiesta Texas riding 3 different roller coasters. I think it cost me about $25-$100k, but we were still lucky enough to win. The following doctors were called live: Dr. Joe Gonzalez who did a great job, Dr. Sanjay Misra, who was a good witness and Dr. Nick Tsourmas for the defense. I think I did an ok job on him, but know that a few others out there own him. Called the parties and the cop. From talks with jurors after, there were a few that had problems with liability. Four that wanted to give all that I had asked for…$450k and a few that didn’t want to give anything because of the surveillance.
Style: Carl Harris v. Thomas Gaylor
Jury Trial/Bench Trial: Jury Trial
Date of Verdict: January 20, 2009
Judge Presiding: Karen Pozza
Plaintiff’s Counsel: Dain Dreyer
LAW OFFICES OF DAIN DREYER
111 Soledad, Suite 110
San Antonio, Texas 78205
Defense Counsel: Jeff B. Frey
The Law Office of Jeff B. Frey, P.L.L.C.
2135 E. Hildebrand
San Antonio, Texas 78209
Party submitting summary: Plaintiff
Carrier: State Farm
Policy limits: $20,000.00
Plaintiff’s last demand: $15,000.00
Defendant’s last offer: $ -0-
Plaintiff’s property damage: $ 3,434.87
Defendant’s property damage: $ 3,282.11
Was low speed impact argued? No.
Were pictures of either vehicle offered and/or admitted into evidence? Yes.
Did Plaintiff or Defendant complain of injury at the scene? Yes, Plaintiff did.
What were Plaintiff’s injuries (type and area)? Muscle sprain/strain of neck, shoulders, and right hand
What did Plaintiff do for a living and what was their age? 43 years old/Installer of LoJack Car Security Systems
What did Defendant do for a living and what was their age? 31 years old/Technical Services Specialist for Wells Fargo
Did Plaintiff have any relevant preexisting injuries? Prior surgery in 2004 for disc herniation at C6-C7
Did Plaintiff have any prior or subsequent accidents? None.
If Plaintiff was not transported by ambulance, how long before Plaintiff first treated? Transported by ambulance.
Was alcohol claimed to be involved? No.
Brief description of accident scene and liability facts: Plaintiff was traveling in the middle lane on Loop 410 when traffic was forced to come to a halt due to a downed power cable that fell across the roadway. Defendant was traveling directly behind Plaintiff in the same lane. Plaintiff successfully slowed his vehicle to a stop behind the cars in front of him, but Defendant was unable to stop his vehicle in time and rear-ended Plaintiff’s vehicle.
Was Plaintiff claimed to be negligent? No.
Were there any independent witnesses for Plaintiff or Defendant? No.
How did Plaintiff get to their treating physicians? Contacted directly by representatives of chiropractic clinic by telephone
Who were the treating physicians and what are their specialities? Selena Gray, D.C.
Did they testify? If so, how? All medical testimony by affidavits only.
What kind of treatment and diagnosticswere provided for Plaintiff? ER; X-rays; MRI; physical therapy
How long did Plaintiff treat? 4 weeks
If there was a surgical recommendation,what was recommended? None.
If there were any gaps in treatment, how many were there and how long
were they? None.
How did Plaintiff present at trial? Live testimony.
How did Defendant present at trial? Live testimony.
What were Plaintiff’s past medical bills? $11,523.53
How did the judge handle the paid/incurred issue? N/A; ER treatment unpaid, all other treatment pursuant to LOP
If there was a claim for future medical, how much was claimed? None.
What was the claim for loss of earning capacity, if any? $2,000.00
What percentage of negligence was placed on Defendant/Plaintiff by the jury? 100% on Defendant
What was the jury’s award for past/future physical pain and mental anguish? $2,000.00
What was the jury’s award for past/future loss of earning capacity? $2,000.00
What was the jury’s award for past/future disfigurement? Not submitted
What was the jury’s award for past/future physical impairment? $-0-
What was the jury’s award for past/future medical care? Not submitted
What other damages were claimed and what did the jury award? N/A
What was the total verdict amount with prejudgment interest and taxable cost? $19,359.38
If not previously listed, list Plaintiff’s/Defendant’s experts and their specialities. N/A
List any other factors you deem important. Defendant requested the submission of a jury instruction on sudden emergency, which was refused by the court.
Verdict Jan. 14, 2009. David Blakely v. Allstate. Plaintiff's attorney: Richard F. Neville, III. Uninsured motorist case. Plaintiff is a 54 year old petrochemical plant inspector. He and family live in Boerne (Cordillera Ranch) and he works during the week in the Baytown/LaPorte area, comes home on weekends. The wreck was in June 2004. Plaintiff was rear-ended in Deer Park (Houston area) and pushed into the car in front of him. It was a good hit, plenty of property damage and his head broke out the rear window of his pickup. Taken to ER, treated for neck/head pain and released. Rented a car and drove himself home to Boerne (it was Friday afternoon). No other treatment until he saw his family doctor 1 month later, having neck pain; given pain/muscle relaxers, etc. Next treatment was 7 months later, complaining to his family doctor of neck pain. Sent for an MRI, which showed degenerative changes at C5-6 and C6-7 with mild bulges. Saw Dr. Karl Swann in July 2005, 13 months after the wreck. Swann says there are 2 protrusions and tells him he is a surgical candidate and also discusses different conservative options (PT, injections, etc.). Has no further treatment over the next 2 years. Client has a 100,000 UM policy with Allstate. Pre-suit offer was $3,800.00 (meds $3,200.00 at that time). Then in June, 2007, the week after their settlement offer, he is a passenger and is in a severe wreck, ejected, flown to UTMB-Galveston with a skull fracture, broken arm, broken leg, 10 broken ribs, etc. Hospitalized a couple of weeks, arm and leg surgery. Misses 3 months of work. Sees Dr. Swann again in July 2008 (the day before Swann's deposition). Swann says his new MRI shows some instability that wasn't there on the first MRI. The adjuster is Chris Brooks. At mediation, his top offer is $10,000.00. After mediation, Allstate switches lawyers from Ian McLin (Langley & Banack) to Larry Goldman. We were set for trial in October but did not get reached when we were set nor in the carryover week. Plaintiff's witnesses: the police officer (by video); Mr. Blakely; Mrs. Blakely; and Dr. Swann (by video). Defense's only witness was their expert, Dr. Garza-Vale (by video). 11-1 verdict. Verdict: $99,600.00 (plus interest and court costs). Past medical $5,000.00; future medical $75,000.00; past wages $1,600.00; future wages $16,000.00; past pain $1,000.00; future pain $1,000.00; no impairment.
Marian L. Archer v. Frank Duderstadt, Sr., et al
37th Judicial District Court
Date of Verdict: 11/13/09
Judge Presiding: Honorable David Berchelmann
Plaintiff’s Counsel: Barry Snell
Bayne, Snell & Krause
8626 Tesoro, Suite 500
San Antonio, Texas 78217 and
Defense Counsel: Jeffrey R. Akins
Law Office of Jeffrey R. Akins
13750 San Pedro, Suite 60
San Antonio, Texas 78232
Party submitting summary: Plaintiff’s Counsel
Plaintiff’s last demand: $1,000,000.00
Defendant’s last offer: $30,000.00
Plaintiff was the daughter of a 82 year old widow.
Defendants were building contractors.
Defendants Frank Duderstadt, Sr., Duderstadt Foundation Company, Inc., Jeffrey Scott Bussey and E.S. Bussey & Associates, Inc. grossly overcharged Plaintiff’s elderly, widowed mother for home improvements to her home in Alamo Heights. Plaintiff alleged fraud and breach of fiduciary duty. Plaintiff claimed $8,500,000.00 in overcharges.
Plaintiff called Jim Jones, P.E., live.
The jury was made up of 3 men and 9 women.
The trial lasted 8 ½ days.
The jury deliberated 1 ½ days.
The verdict was 10-2.
The jury found intentional breach of fiduciary duty by Duderstadt Foundation Company, in which all Defendants knowingly participated.
The jury found $5,500,000.00. in overcharges.