Eight-Figure Claim Dismissed at Trial with Five-Figure Judgment Against Plaintiff
Some cases are won in discovery. This was one of them. Mark Wilner and John Cadagan represented a major nationwide logistics company in litigation that arose out of a truck accident. One of its drivers had rear-ended a vehicle on I-5, causing a fire and serious injuries to the plaintiff. At the outset of litigation, plaintiff’s counsel presented an eight-figure demand. However, targeted discovery revealed that the plaintiff knew her vehicle was low on gas when she started driving, that she was driving without her lights on even though it was dark, and that when she ran out of gas, she coasted into an I-5 acceleration lane without using her turn signal or activating her hazard lights. Discovery also showed that she had been abusing methamphetamine, cocaine, and other drugs. As the trial date approached, the plaintiff’s demands plummeted. Ultimately, the reality the case would have to be tried in front of a jury – not the plaintiff’s initial case, but the case they were left with after discovery – caused the plaintiff to abandon it altogether. On the first day of trial, the court not only dismissed the plaintiff’s claims with prejudice but also entered judgment in favor of GTTC’s client for nearly $27,000 for the property damage it sustained.