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Leal v. Erdhaus (1/88)
Defense Lawyer: Boyd F. Jensen II
Facts: On July 13,1985, Plantaintiff Michael Leal was seriously injured in an auto accident by Defendant Sheri Erdhaus who struck his car while traveling at 55 m.p.h. Plaintiff complained he needed two back surgeries and had already completed one before the trial. Plaintiff was not able to go back to work. He was a father and husband. After one week of trial the wife of the Plaintiff came and testified. Her testimony was very emotional. She was a pretty lady and very gentle. She told the jury how she was forced to provide for the family and how hard it was to be home maker and provider both. She started to cry on the witness stand and members of the jury started to cry too. The judge recessed for the day and ordered the attorneys to return early the next day. The judge tried to talk settlement but the plaintiff held firm at $400,000. He was offered $200,000 by the insurance company of the defendant.
Damages: Injury to neck and back. Medical $25,000 Earnings Loss: $40,000 Future Medical: $20,000 Future Earnings: $755,000
General Damages: $3,000,000

Jurisdiction: Orange County Superior
Judge: Judge John Flynn
Plaintiff's Demand: $400,000
Defendant's Offer: $200,000
Verdict: $44,000