Defense offers $45K (CCP 998) in rearender, but jury says that's too much. $10K. Los Angeles County.


Plaintiff claims disability after rearender, but defense says the impact was too low to cause the claimed injury.

The Case

  • Case Name: Judd v. Schaer
  • Court and Case Number: Sonoma County Superior Court / SCV255868
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Tuesday, December 08, 2015
  • Date Action was Filed: Friday, August 08, 2014
  • Type of Case: Vehicles - Auto vs. Auto
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Elliot Daum
  • Plaintiffs:
    Daniel Judd
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: $10,000
  • Net Verdict or Award: $10,000
  • Award as to each Defendant:


  • Non-Economic Damages:


  • Trial or Arbitration Time: 8 days
  • Jury Deliberation Time: 3 hours 20 minutes
  • Jury Polls: 12-0
  • Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: Settled for mutual waiver of costs.

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:

    Carpenter, Zuckerman & Rowley LLP by Martin J. Kanarek, Bevelry Hills.

  • Attorney for the Defendant:

    Phillip M Andersen & Associates by Jonathan H. Erb, Pleasanton.

The Experts

  • Plaintiff’s Medical Expert(s):

    Robert Schiff, M.D., Benicia.

  • Defendant's Medical Expert(s):

    William Hoddick, M.D., radiology, Walnut Creek.

    Edward Eyster, M.D., neurosurgery, San Francisco.


  • Plaintiff's Technical Expert(s):

    Rudy Degger, accident reconstruction, Pleasant Hill.

  • Defendant's Technical Expert(s):

    Brian Doherty, Alameda.

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    Rear end accident on city street in Santa Rosa, CA with liability admitted by defendant.

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    Plaintiff contended that the force of the impact bent the frame of the vehicle as acknowledged by the insurance company's damage evaluator. Plaintiff claimed spinal injury, mainly lumbar injury necessitating injections provided by Kaiser with a need for future surgery. He contended he could not work. He was placed on disability.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    Defendant contended that regardless of the evidence of the frame damage, the force of the collision was insufficient to cause anything but transitory soft tissue injury which did not justify the extended lumbar treatment.

Injuries and Other Damages

  • Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:

    Spinal injury to neck and low back (lumbar) requiring injections after physical therapy; claim of future surgery.

  • Plaintiff did not submit the $6,300 in medical treatment to the jury.

Special Damages

  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Medical: 0
  • Special Damages Claimed - Future Medical: 0
  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Lost Earnings: 0
  • Special Damages Claimed - Future Lost Earnings: 0

Demands and Offers

  • Plaintiff §998 Demand: $35,000.
  • Plaintiff Final Demand before Trial: $100,000 policy limits.
  • Defendant §998 Offer: $45,000

Additional Notes

Plaintiff requested that the jury award $105,000 for past non-economic loss and $410,000 to $615,000 in future economic loss. Defendant requested an award of $12,700-$15,200. There is a pending post-verdict settlement for a mutual waiver of costs.  Insurer was State Farm.