Jury verdict for over $500,000 in motorcycle crash; defense 998 offer was only $21,001 for back injury. Santa Clara County.


Defendant found 90% liable for hitting motorcycle in front of her after they both waited to make a left turn.

The Case

  • Case Name: Joe Egan v. Joy Bowen
  • Court and Case Number: Santa Clara Superior/109CV135244
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Friday, January 20, 2012
  • Type of Case: Vehicles - Motorcycle
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Brian C. Walsh
  • Plaintiffs:
    Joe Egan, 40, construction site trash hauler
  • Defendants:
    Joy Bowen
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: $573,330
  • Net Verdict or Award: $515,997
  • Contributory/Comparative Negligence: Jury found Joy Bowen 90% liable; 10% as to plaintiff.
  • Trial or Arbitration Time: 5 days
  • Jury Deliberation Time: 2 days
  • Jury Polls: 12-0 liability, 11-1 damages
  • Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: $657,500 (prejudgment interest/costs). All paid by State Farm as of this writing.

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:
    Abronson Law Offices by Louis S. Abronson, Los Gatos
  • Attorney for the Defendant:
    Philip M. Andersen & Associates by Michael R. Welch, Pleasanton

The Experts

  • Plaintiff’s Medical Experts:
    Steven Graboff, M.D., orthopedic surgery, Huntington Beach
    Carol R. Hyland, M.A., M.S., life care planning, Lafayette
    Robert L. Murray, D.C., chiropractic, Sunnyvale
  • Defendant's Medical Experts:
    Bruce McCormack, M.D., neurosurgery, San Francisco
    Paul J. Mills, M.D., orthopedic surgery, Palo Alto

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    Date of incident: March 8, 2007

    Facts: Joe Egan was stopped in a left turn lane, waiting to make a left turn. When the light turned green, Joy Bowen struck him from behind with her sport utility vehicle. The motorcycle was propelled forward.Please show claims, contentions and all disputed matters under contentions rather than facts. Facts stated here should be only those in evidence.

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    That defendant was negligent in moving forward when it was not safe to do so.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    That plaintiff was also negligent as he began to drive forward, then stopped abruptly.

Injuries and Other Damages

  • Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:

    Plaintiff had pre-existing spinal degeneration and a prior accident, but had not suffered any symptoms prior to this accident. With this accident, he sustained a T12 fracture, lumbar disc bulges, sprains and strains. He was left with ongoing back pain as well as a decrease in mobility.

Demands and Offers

  • Plaintiff §998 Demand: $50,000
  • Plaintiff Final Demand before Trial: $791,000
  • Defendant §998 Offer: $21,001
  • Defendant Final Offer before Trial: $7,500