Robert W. Johnson & Associates was retained to provide economic testimony quantifying: (a) the present cash values of lost wages and fringe benefits and (b) the present cash value of medical expenses to the plaintiff.
Location: Los Angeles, California
Case: Joseph Bryant Griggs v. Caterpillar, Inc., et al.
Court: Superior Court of the State of California for the County of Los Angeles, No. BC 216425.
Plaintiff’s Attorneys: Brian J. Panish and Christine D. Spagnoli of the Law Offices of Greene, Broillet, Panish & Wheeler, Santa Monica, California
Judge: The Honorable Victor Person
Case Synopsis: On September 10, 1998, Mr. Griggs was operating a Caterpillar J-621, grading land for a self-storage facility in Valley Springs, California. During the time he was in the cab, an O-ring on the hydraulic line failed. The hydraulic fluid caught fire and sprayed Mr. Griggs. He was severely burned while trapped in the enclosed cab.
Doctors at the U.C. Davis Regional Burn Center determined that Mr. Griggs had suffered third degree burns to more than 75% of his body. Since the accident, Mr. Griggs has undergone more than 25 surgical procedures. To date, Mr. Griggs has incurred more than $3.5 million in medical expenses and will require several more years of burn reconstruction surgery.
Expert Consultation: In this case, Mr. Johnson first testified to Mr. Griggs’ lost earnings capacity. Mr. Johnson reviewed Mr. Griggs’ earnings history with Moyle Excavation, Inc. He also examined the earnings of a construction equipment operator in the Sonora, California area using data from the Economic Research Institute. The total present value of lost wages and fringe benefits yielded slightly over $1.0 million.
Additionally, Mr. Johnson testified to the present value of Mr. Griggs’ medical expenses.
The total present value of the medical expenses over his life expectancy was $4.2 million (future) and $3.5 million (past) for a total of $7.7 million. The total present value of earnings and medical expenses that Mr. Johnson testified to was $8.7 million.