Jury returns verdict of $3,000,000 to non-English speaking man who lost both legs when a train hit him as he lay unconscious across the train tracks.
Robert W. Johnson & Associates was asked to quantify losses and future medical expenses for a man who lost both legs when hit by a train.
Location: Los Angeles, California
Case: Ricardo Talamantez v. Southern Pacific Transportation Company
Court: Los Angeles County Norwalk Superior Court
Plaintiff’s Attorneys: Joseph Daniel Davis & Thomas D. Thomas of Davis & Thomas, Los Angeles, California
Case Synopsis: On January 31, 1992, the plaintiff, a 39-year-old, non-English speaking resident, was seen by the Southern Pacific crew lying between the railroad tracks with his legs extended over one rail. The plaintiff had consumed between 10-13 beers, and had little memory of events.
The Southern Pacific crew, traveling at 24 M.P.H. in a darkened area, claimed they were unable to stop the train before running over the plaintiff. Plaintiff’s experts claimed that the crew should have been able to see the plaintiff lying on the tracks and bring the train to a complete stop before running over him.
Expert Testimony: Mr. Johnson testified that although the plaintiff earned only $5.50 per hour and had minimum wage fringe benefits, his lost wages totaled $310,000. The special medicals were an additional $31,000.
Attorney Comments: “Mr. Johnson’s expert testimony clearly validated the plaintiff’s lost earnings capacity despite questions about his residency status. He turned cross examination into redirect.”
Results: Defense made a $200,000 offer. The jury verdict was $3,000,000 (Plaintiff 60% negligent).