Bench verdict of $2,454,000 awarded to husband and children of 38-year-old working mother killed in trucking accident.
Robert W. Johnson & Associates was retained to present testimony that would assist the judge in quantifying the amount of economic support that the working mother would have provided to her family.
Location: Sacramento, California
Case: Phoenix, et al., v. Vidrios, et al.
Court: Sacramento County, California Superior Court, No. 95AS01123
Plaintiff’s Attorneys: Douglas Drake, Law Offices of Douglas Drake, Sacramento, California
Case Synopsis: Mrs. Penny Del Real, a 38-year-old married, mother of two, earned $43,000 per year as an Associate State Tax Auditor. While driving on the highway to work, she was forced to swerve to avoid a stopped car in the road. She was unsure whether her car had suffered any damage from the road debris so she stopped to inspect it. While she was stopped, a tractor trailer truck driven by the defendant struck both vehicles, killing Mrs. Del Real instantly. The defendant truck driver, Mr. Vidrios, said he never saw either car.
Expert Testimony: Robert W. Johnson testified that, assuming Mrs. Del Real would have continued as a tax auditor with earnings in excess of $47,000 per year plus fringe benefits, her total earnings (in present value dollars) would have been more than $1,469,000. In addition to her lost wages, the economist calculated that the value of her lost household services was in excess of $244,000.
Attorney Comments: “Mr. Johnson’s clear presentation and thorough documentation of Mrs. Del Real’s future lost earnings capacity, as well as the value of her household services, was greatly appreciated by the judge. He awarded every penny of damages that you put on the board. There was no cross examination.” The judge said, “I chose to adopt [Mr. Johnson’s] opinion.” The judge awarded $2,454,539 in economic and non-economic damages.