Judge awards $2.4 million for 39 year old tuna fisherman’s brain injury, caused by a truck/ motorcycle accident in which the plaintiff was not wearing a helmet; loss of enjoyment of life testimony admitted into evidence.
Robert W. Johnson & Associates was retained to present economic testimony that would assist the judge in quantifying the plaintiff’s loss of enjoyment of life. The loss of enjoyment of life testimony as well as the 3’ loss of enjoyment calculation chart were admitted into evidence.
Location: San Diego, California
Case: Luz, et al., v. United States of America
Court: San Diego, United States District Court, Southern District of California, Civil No. 88-1634-JLI (M).
Plaintiff’s Attorneys: Attorney Craig A. Klein, San Diego, California
Case Synopsis: Mr. John J. Luz, a 39-year-old married tuna fisherman, was injured when his motorcycle was struck by an on-coming truck driven by an on-duty U.S. Navy employee. Mr. Luz was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident. He suffered permanent brain injury that left him with severe cognitive, behavioral and judgmental deficits and impaired ambulation. Of special importance was the loss of consortium suffered by Mrs. Luz. Since Mr. Luz was at sea 6 months per year, the time they spent together was especially significant. The special damages, (including loss wages) totaled approximately $1,000,000. The defense argued against liability.
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. The trier of fact was then free to choose (a) what percent of loss the plaintiff had suffered and (b) where within the $1.6 to $8.5 million range, Mr. Luz would have lived his life, were it not for the accident.