Robert W. Johnson & Associates was retained to provide economic testimony in quantifying the present cash value of lost earning capacity, lost household services and future medical expenses.
Location: San Francisco, California
Case: Robert Scott v. Richter & Ratner Contracting Corp.
Court: San Francisco County Superior Court, Case No. CGC-04-434970
Judge: The Honorable Katherine Feinstein
Plaintiff’s Attorneys: William L. Veen (lead), Kevin Lancaster (co-lead), Eustace de Saint Phalle and Mary Anne Bendotoff of The Veen Firm, PC, San Francisco, California
Case Synopsis: Plaintiff Robert Scott, 45, a construction superintendent, was working on an interior remodel of an existing retail store and building at 225 Post Street in San Francisco. The general contractor was Richter & Ratner Contracting Corp., who hired several subcontractors, including Scott’s employer, Cannon Constructors and Paramount Elevator.
Scott slipped into the unguarded elevator pit, falling backwards and landing on his back in the concrete pit. Scott sued Richter & Ratner for negligence. Plaintiff's counsel argued that the contract stipulated that Richter & Ratner was required to maintain barricades in front of each opening to the elevator shaft. In addition, plaintiff's counsel claimed that Richter & Ratner had a non-delegable duty to guard the elevator shaft. Richter & Ratner disputed the allegations, contending that Scott was comparatively negligent. Defense counsel also pointed out that Scott had been in a methadone program, and claimed he was simply faking it in order to get painkillers.
Scott sustained permanent, disabling back, neck and knee injuries. His vocational rehabilitation counselor testified that Mr. Scott would never be able to return to work as a construction superintendent, or to return to the physical activities that he loved.
Expert Testimony: Mr. Johnson was retained to testify regarding loss of income, household services and future medical expenses. Mr. Johnson reviewed the vocational rehabilitation report and determined that Mr. Scott’s base earnings were $78,487 in 2004 as a construction project superintendent and by 2007, he would earn over $103,000 per annum plus fringe benefits.
Next, Mr. Johnson calculated that Mr. Scott’s future medical expenses would be just shy of $2 million. Lastly, Mr. Johnson calculated the loss of household services due to Mr. Scott’s injuries.