Defense Verdict on Admitted Liability

Defense Verdict on Admitted Liability

We are pleased to congratulate Tim Lippert on his defense verdict in Johnson v. Morales, an admitted liability car accident case, following a 5-day jury trial in Van Nuys.

Our client, Yannett Morales, made an unsafe lane change and struck plaintiff’s pick-up truck. Plaintiff, 69, had a prior cervical spine fusion and multiple prior knee surgeries. After this accident, Plaintiff had a right knee arthroscopy for a torn meniscus and his medical bills totaled $87,500.

Tim admitted liability, but argued that the accident was minor and did not cause any significant injuries, and that plaintiff had pre-existing degenerative arthritis. He also argued that the charges for plaintiff’s medical treatment were excessive and litigation-driven, including arthroscopy charges over $60,000. The jury agreed and returned a 9-3 defense verdict, finding no causation.

Prior to trial, plaintiff’s counsel sent over 30 letters to defendant and his insurer alleging various acts of bad faith, attorney malpractice, and violations of the Insurance Code, claiming that they were “thumbing their nose” at the Department of Insurance by failing to comply with multiple insurance regulations, for allegedly undervaluing the case, and failing to promptly offer the defendant’s policy limits. Plaintiff’s refused to accept the offer of the $25,000 policy limits, and is now faced with a cost judgment, including expert fees, in excess of $50,000.

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