Sunday, March 24, 2013

Gunn v. Robertson case brief

Gunn v. Robertson case brief summary
801 So. 2d 555 (La. Ct. App. 2001)

Plaintiffs, an accident victim and his wife and children, sued defendant driver and his insurer. The 24th Judicial District Court, Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, entered judgment for the victim on a jury verdict, but pursuant to La. Code Civ. Proc. Ann. 970, taxed the driver's and insurer's costs against the victim and family, and denied the victim and family's request for costs. The victim and family appealed.

OVERVIEW: The driver ran a red light, and collided with the victim's car. The victim had an asymptomatic, pre-existing back condition that was aggravated by the accident. His constant pain could only be relieved by surgery, which he could not afford.

The appellate court held that, as the driver took his victim as he found him, and produced no evidence that the victim's condition was caused by anything other than the aggravation of his back condition by the accident, the jury's pain and suffering award of $ 1,000 was insufficient as a matter of law. It increased the award to $ 25,000.

-The jury also erred by not awarding the victim his past and future medical expenses as proved at trial.
-But its denial of plaintiffs' claims for lost wages and loss of consortium was supported by the record. -The evidence also supported the jury's allocation of 30 percent of the fault to the victim. Evidence that the victim's doctor's practice relied heavily on attorney referrals was properly admitted to show his bias.
-The award of costs to defendants, based on plaintiffs' rejection of a $ 35,000 settlement offer, could not stand, as the amended judgment was over 25 percent higher than the offer.

-A defendant takes his victim as he finds him and is responsible for all natural and probable consequences of his tortious conduct.
-When the tortfeasor's conduct aggravates a pre-existing condition, the tortfeasor must compensate the victim for the full extent of the aggravation.

OUTCOME: The damage award was amended to increase the victim's general damages and to award him past and future medical expenses. The assessment of costs against plaintiffs was reversed, and all costs were assessed against defendants. The remainder of the judgment was affirmed.

Interested in learning how to get the top grades in your law school classes? Want to learn how to study smarter than your competition? Interested in transferring to a high ranked school?


No comments:

Post a Comment

The Evolution of Legal Marketing: From Billboards to Digital Leads Over the last couple of decades, the face of legal marketing has changed a l...