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Charles Davin v. Skyview Limousine Service and Palm Springs Limousine Service

REAR END MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT PERSONAL INJURY
Case Summary

VERDICT:

$1,183,057.00 plus attorneys’ fees, costs and pre-judgment interest back to August, 1988.

PRE-JUDGMENT INTEREST:

$177,000.

TOTAL GROSS VERDICT:

$1,360,057.00 plus costs, expert fees and cost of trial preparation.

ATTORNEYS:

Browne Greene and Brian J. Panish, Greene, Broillet, Paul, Simon
& Wheeler. Defense lawyers: Romaine Nelson and James Spurling
Nelson for defendants Skyview Limousine Service and Palm Springs
Limousine Service and Herman Soloman defendants.

FACTS:

On May 22, 1985, plaintiff Charles Davin, 57, was operating his Subaru automobile and stopped on Sepulveda Boulevard at a stop light in West Los Angeles at approximately 7:00 p.m. At that time the defendant, Herman Soloman, in the course and scope of his employment for the limousine corporations and driving a 6,000 pound limousine struck the rear end of the plaintiff’s vehicle at a speed estimated anywhere from 15 to 25 miles per hour. Photographs reveal very little damage to the rear of the plaintiff’s vehicle and the defendants claim there was no damage to the limousine. Property damage in the case was $2,104 paid by the defendant. The liability was admitted at the time of trial.

The case was basically tried on the issue of damages and specifically whether or not there was a head injury and brain damage to plaintiff, Charles Davin. After the accident in question the plaintiff was taken to an emergency room where standard neck and shoulder pain complaints were made and a small abrasion was noted on the right front forehead. Thereafter, plaintiff was treated by an orthopedic surgeon for neck and shoulder complaints for approximately three months. During that period of time general complaints in the area of the head were elicited including dizziness, nausea, occasional slurring of speech, forgetfulness and other vague type head injury complaints. All diagnostic tests as of that time for neck and back injuries including x-rays, MRI and CAT scans were negative concerning the head injury.

The plaintiff, an accountant with Hughes Aircraft, was unable to work due to the fact that his thinking became confused and he was unable to follow through with all of the organization tasks of being an accountant on government contracts. Additionally, depression set in leading to a psychiatrist seeing the plaintiff in June of 1985, approximately 13 months post accident. Two months thereafter, plaintiff took an early retirement from Hughes Aircraft due to the continuing depression and head injuries. The
psychiatrist, Dr. Herbert Gross, sent the plaintiff, in January of 1988, for an EEC, sleep studies and neuropsychological testing which revealed head trauma symptoms suggestive of brain damage. Thereafter, further tomography examinations substantiated dysfunction on the part of the plaintiff and the issue of the existence of brain damage was fought out between experts on both plaintiff’s side and the defense side. The plaintiff’s final position was that the original injury brought about a head injury and head sequaella and necessitated the retirement, loss of earnings, etc.

EXPERTS (PLAINTIFFS):

Dr. Karen Grove, neuropsychologist, U.C.L.A.

Dr. Herbert Gross, neuropsychiatrist, Los Angeles.

Peter Formuzis, Ph.D. forensic economist.

Dr. Earnest Ramey, orthopedic surgeon.

Dr. Ronald McBride, Torrance, family physician.

Dr. John Handley, electroencephlographer, U.C.L.A.

EXPERTS (DEFENSE)

Dr. John McCrae, neurosurgeon, Los Angeles.

Dr. Jeffrey Lulow, neuropsychologist, Beverly Hills.

Dr. Victor Malitz, psychiatrist, Los Angeles.

SPECIAL DAMAGES:

All medical in the past up to the date of trial was $38,057.
Loss of earnings claim was $453,000.

Future medical claim for head injury rehabilitation $300,000.

DEMANDS:

C.C.P. 998 demand August, 1988 – $995,000.

One week prior to trial demand of $750,000 made.

OFFERS:

Offers while the jury was deliberating – $650,000 was made and rejected.

JUDGE:

Judge Henry Shatford, a retired judge.

PLACE OF TRIAL:

Beautiful downtown Holiday Inn. (This was due to the fact that there were no courtrooms available in downtown Los Angeles for this trial) The courtroom was cramped and small but much better than no courtroom at all, as the verdict attests.

CASE NAME AND NUMBER:

Charles Davin v. Skyview Limousine Service and Palm Springs

Limousine Service – Number C 588 883.

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