Left-turn accident leads to disputed causation. $537K. Los Angeles County.


Defendant offers $100K per 998, and plaintiff's final demand per 998 is $499,999.

The Case

  • Case Name: Shawna Davi; Christopher Paulson v. Amel Sediri; Jacob Holm Industries (America), Inc.
  • Court and Case Number: Los Angeles Superior Court / BC534274
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Friday, July 31, 2015
  • Date Action was Filed: Monday, January 27, 2014
  • Type of Case: Vehicles - Intersection
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Bobbi Tillmon
  • Plaintiffs:
    Shawna Davi, 44, counselor
    Christopher Paulson
  • Defendants:
    Jacob Holm Industries (America), Inc.
    Amel Sederi
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: Shawna Davi: $526,919.60; Christopher Paulson: $10,000
  • Economic Damages:

    Shawna Davi:

    Past Medical: $58,919.60

    Future Medical: $168,000

    Christopher Paulson:

    Past Medical:  $5,983.60

  • Non-Economic Damages:

    Shawna Davi:

    Past Pain and Suffering: $150,000

    Future Pain and Suffering: $150,000

    Christopher Paulson:

    Past Pain and Suffering: $4016.40

  • Trial or Arbitration Time: 3 days
  • Jury Deliberation Time: 5 hours
  • Jury Polls: Various: 12-0 on Economic and 10-2 on General Damages
  • Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: None at this time.

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:

    Law Office of John J. Perlstein by John J. Perlstein, Los Angeles.

  • Attorney for the Defendant:
  • Attorney for the Defendant:

    Diederich and Associates by Donna Yannotta, Glendale.

    Diederich and Associates by Amy Volk, San Diego.

The Experts

  • Plaintiff’s Medical Expert(s):

    Michael Moheimani, M.D., orthopedic surgery, Santa Ana. (treating physician)

    Scott Onoda, DC, chiropractic medicine, Los Angeles. (treating physician)

  • Defendant's Medical Expert(s):

    Geoffrey Miller, M.D., orthopedic surgery.

  • Plaintiff's Technical Experts:
  • Defendant's Technical Experts:

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    On July 26, 2012, defendant Sederi, a French citizen, while in the course and scope of her employment with defendant Jacob Holm Industries, admittedly caused an intersection accident by making an illegal left turn. Plaintiff and her husband were transported by ambulance and sent home with complaints of pain.

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    Plaintiff Davi had pre-existing cervical disc herniations that were exacerbated as well as new lumbar disc bulges as a result of the accident. Plaintiff sought conservative treatment with Chiropractor Onoda and had two epidurals with Dr. Moheimani. Plaintiff claimed chronic pain as a result of the accident that would require conservative managed further care.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    Defendant admitted fault but claimed that plaintiff Shawna Davi sustained only minor soft tissue injury to her lumbar spine which required only short term therapy.  Defendant’s further contended that Ms. Davi’s cervical herniations predated the accident and that causation for her current complaints and the need for future treatment required apportionment.

Injuries and Other Damages

  • Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:

    Neck and back disc injuries.

Special Damages

  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Medical: $58,919.60
  • Special Damages Claimed - Future Medical: $268,000
  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Lost Earnings: 0
  • Special Damages Claimed - Future Lost Earnings: 0

Demands and Offers

  • Plaintiff §998 Demand: $1 million originally. $499,999 two weeks before trial for Davi, and $35,000 for Paulson. ($70,000 before filing.)
  • Defendant §998 Offer: Offered $35,000 until a month before trial when a 998 for $85,000 was issued for Davi and $15,000 for Paulson.