Jury awards $3.2 million for 38 year old secretary's soft tissue injury (myofascial pain syndrome) despite negative responses on all diagnostic tests; loss of enjoyment of life testimony admitted as well as LIFE ACTIVITY CALENDAR.
Robert W. Johnson & Associates was retained to (a) present economic testimony that would help the jury quantify the plaintiff's loss of enjoyment of life and (b) to prepare a LIFE ACTIVITY CALENDAR, admitted thru the lay testimony of the plaintiff, that would graphically illustrate her shattered lifestyle. Both the loss of enjoyment of life testimony and the LIFE ACTIVITY CALENDAR were admitted into evidence.
Location: Los Angeles, California
Case: McCracken v. City of Los Angeles
Court: Los Angeles, California Superior Court No. C658708
Plaintiff's Attorneys: Attorneys Berglund & Johnson, by David W. Berglund, Granada Hills, California
Case Synopsis: Ms. Karen McCracken, a 38-year-old married secretary, was injured in a head-on collision with a city vehicle. The defendant admitted liability. Neither vehicle suffered extensive damage. The plaintiff suffered from a myofascial pain syndrome in her neck and back, whose symptoms were muscle spasms and severe pain. All of the diagnostic tests including the EMG, Myelogram, CT Scan and MRI yielded negative results. The plaintiff, unable to return to work, had special damages of approximately $500,000. The defense argued the injury was really a psychological problem based on pre-existing conditions.
Expert Testimony: Robert W. Johnson testified that, based on federal government studies and accepted economic analysis, the dollar value of the 100% loss of enjoyment of life ranges from $1.6 to $8.5 million. A color-coded LIFE ACTIVITY CALENDAR showing the before and after effects of the injury on the plaintiff's lifestyle was prepared for admission thru the plaintiff.
Results: The defense made indications, pre-trial, that they would be willing to settle as high as $300,000. The jury returned a verdict of $3,200,000 which included special damages and pain and suffering/loss of enjoyment of life.