Cab rear-ends car at stop light; minimal vehicle damage. Defense CCP 998 offer of $30,000. Plaintiff had low back decompression surgery. Jury said $152,000.
- Case Name: Odom v. Friendly Cab et. al
- Court and Case Number: Alameda County Superior Court / RG12650512
- Date of Verdict or Judgment: Thursday, February 20, 2014
- Date Action was Filed: Tuesday, October 02, 2012
- Type of Case: Vehicles - Auto vs. Auto
- Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Robert McGuiness
Plaintiffs: Joe Odom, 49, personal trainer
Defendants: Friendly Cab; Amanuel Woldelassie (cab driver)
- Type of Result: Jury Verdict
- Gross Verdict or Award: $152,500
- Net Verdict or Award: Same
Award as to each Defendant:
Friendly Cab, as owner of the cab, was only responsible for $15,000. Defendant cab driver Woldelassie, is liable for balance of judgment; insurance carrier defended and indemnified both defendants.
- Contributory/Comparative Negligence: None.
Past Medical: $38,000
Future Medical: $22,500
Wage loss: $32,000
Future wage loss: $10,000
Past Pain and suffering: $35,000
Future Pain and suffering: $15,000
- Trial or Arbitration Time: 1 week
- Jury Deliberation Time: 1 1/2 days
- Jury Polls: Various on special verdict form.
- Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: N/A
Attorney for the Plaintiff: Terry D. Buller, P.C. by Terry D. Buller, Oakland.
Attorney for the Defendant: Bennett Samuelsen Reynolds & Allard by David Samuelson, Alameda.
Plaintiff’s Medical Experts: Stephen Brown, M.D., Berkeley.Thomas Mampalam, M.D., neurosurgery, Berkeley.
Defendant's Medical Experts: Noeman Livermore,M.D., orthopedic surgery, Walnut Creek.
Plaintiff's Technical Experts: None.
Defendant's Technical Experts: None.
Facts and Background
Facts and Background:
On November 11, 2011 plaintiff stopped at the intersection of Heggenberger and Doolittle in Oakland to make a right-hand turn and was struck from behind by defendant's taxi cab.
That plaintiff stopped to make right turn, struck from rear by defendant cab.
That there was no visible damage to the cab and less than $500 property damage to plaintiff's rear bumper.
Defendants contested the nature and cause of plaintiff's injuries.
Injuries and Other Damages
Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Soft tissue injuries to plaintiff's neck and back. Plaintiff had decompression surgery to his low back.
Plaintiff had been involved in construction work, but had not worked in that field for 6 years because of the recession. Plaintiff had been working as a personal trainer and pastor in the 2 years before the accident. Plaintiff contended that with the upswing in the economy, he would have returned to construction work if not for the accident.
- Special Damages Claimed - Past Medical: $44,000
- Special Damages Claimed - Future Medical: $25,000
- Special Damages Claimed - Past Lost Earnings: $40,000-90,000/yr
- Special Damages Claimed - Future Lost Earnings: $30,000-40,000
Demands and Offers
- Plaintiff §998 Demand: $75,000
- Defendant §998 Offer: $30,000