Case Study: Motor Vehicle Accident

Semi-Truck Collision | $4.4 Million Verdict

Case Facts

• Our client’s car was struck by a semi-truck.

• Client suffered injuries that required multiple surgeries and caused permanent physical injuries and limitations.

• Client, a 36-year-old senior union dockworker, could no longer work most of the jobs required of him.

• Diagnosis and treatment for PTSD.

• After several days of trial, a jury returned a unanimous verdict in our client’s favor of almost $4.4 million.

DWC Actions

Walgreens, the truck owner, denied liability and went so far as to claim that our client was at fault in causing the collision. We had no option but to file the case in federal court. Walgreens, in turn, hired a very large and experienced law firm to represent their interests, with two extremely qualified defense attorneys leading the charge.

Tim Williams headed the federal litigation team for our firm. Only weeks from the trial, and after many months of hard-fought discovery and expert disclosures, Walgreens finally admitted it was responsible for causing the collision, and withdrew its claims that our client was at fault. However, it continued to deny that our client was significantly injured, claiming, instead, that his left leg and right arm symptoms were the results of spinal degeneration, even though he was only 36 years old at the time of his injury. This ultimately necessitated a trial in the United States District Court for the District of Oregon in Portland.

At trial, Walgreens admitted some soft tissue injury but claimed the left leg and right arm symptoms were a result of known prior spinal degeneration. It is true that, prior to this motor vehicle collision, our client had been diagnosed with mild to moderate degeneration of the spine, and had sustained several acute back injuries over the preceding several years. However, we pointed out that those injuries resolved prior to this collision. Indeed, Walgreen’s medical expert conceded many points during our skillful cross-examination. We were quick to point out that, while our client did have intermittent upper back pain, as one might expect for a dockworker, those pains quickly resolved with only a few chiropractic visits.

Key Successes

Ultimately, after four days of trial, including the testimony of six expert witnesses and several friends, family, and coworkers, and after skillful and passionate closing arguments on both sides, a jury returned a unanimous verdict in our client’s favor of almost $4.4 million. This verdict was more than eight times Walgreens’ highest settlement offer!