McDonald's admits liability in slip and fall. $18M. Los Angeles County.


Defendant admitted liability, but disputed the nature and extent of the alleged injuries and damages.

The Case

  • Case Name: Jonathan Choto v. Dorothy D. Inc., et al.
  • Court and Case Number: Los Angeles Superior Court / 20STCV12764
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Thursday, November 17, 2022
  • Date Action was Filed: Wednesday, April 01, 2020
  • Type of Case: Slip and Fall
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Rafael Ongkeko
  • Plaintiffs:
    Jonathan Choto, 32
  • Defendants:
    Dorothy D. Inc. dba McDonald’s
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: $18,794,132.14
  • Net Verdict or Award: $18,794,132.14
  • Contributory/Comparative Negligence: None.
  • Economic Damages:

    Past medical: $365,962.59

    Future medical: $654,269.55

  • Non-Economic Damages:

    Past: $1,773,900

    Future: $16,000,000

  • Trial or Arbitration Time: Jury selection: 2 days; Trial: 3 1/2 days
  • Jury Deliberation Time: 3 hours

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:

    Savin Bursk Law by Brian J. Kim and Maureen Hennessey, Encino.

  • Attorney for the Defendant:

    Mavredakis Phillips Cranert by Erin Chang, Pasadena.

The Experts

  • Plaintiff’s Medical Expert(s):

    Lawrence Miller, M.D., pain management, Los Angeles.

    Stepan Kasimian, M.D., spine surgery, Los Angeles.

  • Defendant's Medical Expert(s):

    Tony Feuerman, M.D., neurosurgery, Los Angeles.

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    On May 1, 2018, plaintiff, male age 32,  was a patron at a McDonald’s restaurant in Lomita, owned/operated by Defendant Dorothy D. Inc. While inside the restaurant, plaintiff slipped and fell on liquid that was left on the floor by a McDonald’s crew member. At trial, defendant Dorothy D. Inc. admitted that it was 100 percent  responsible for the incident, but disputed the nature and extent of the alleged injuries and damages claimed by plaintiff.

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    Plaintiff was unusually susceptible to a lumbar spine injury, due to his history of a prior work injury and two prior lumbar spine microdecompression surgeries. Plaintiff’s second spine surgery occurred 16 months prior to the subject incident. As a result of the subject incident, plaintiff suffered an aggravation injury to his lumbar spine, requiring a revision microdecompression surgery and a spinal cord stimulator.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    Plaintiff suffered a low back sprain-strain injury in the incident, which resolved within two to three months of the incident. All other low-back complaints thereafter were due to plaintiff’s pre-existing condition and history of prior low-back injury and two prior spine surgeries.

Injuries and Other Damages

  • Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:

    Permanent injury to the lumbar spine, requiring a revision microdecompression surgery and subsequent placement of a spinal cord stimulator.

Special Damages

  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Medical: $365,962.59
  • Special Damages Claimed - Future Medical: $654,269.55

Demands and Offers

  • Plaintiff §998 Demand: $2,000,000 (4 months before trial)
  • Defendant §998 Offer: $2,000,000 (11 days before trial)