spacer
home
spacer
cases
spacer
services
spacer
forms
spacer
faqs
spacer
glossary
spacer
articles
spacer
newsletter
spacer
about us
spacer
contacts
spacer
banner
FEATURED CASE

SAN JOSÉ COURT AWARDS $29.3 MILLION TO BRAIN-INJURED 12 YEAR-OLD BOY IN A “DART OUT” CASE


Robert W. Johnson & Associates was retained to provide economic testimony in quantifying the present cash value of lost earning capacity and future medical expenses.

Location: San José, California

Case: Rasheed T. Hilson, a minor, by an through his Guardian ad Litem, Dalette Hilson v. Kim Phuoc Tran, et al.

Court: Superior Court of the State of California, County of Santa Clara, Case No. 108CV104376.

Plaintiff’s Attorneys: Plaintiff’s attorneys Richard Alexander and Jeffrey Rickard of the law firm of Alexander Hawes, LLP, San José, California.

Judge: The Honorable Leslie C. Nichols.

Case Synopsis: On November 14, 2007 at 4:20 pm, Rasheed Hilson, a young African-American student, left a girls’ basketball game at Morrill Middle School in San José, California. 

Outside of the gym, Rasheed briefly chatted with four friends before seeing his bus and, in typical 12- year-old fashion, ran to catch it without thinking of anything else.  He ran down the school driveway into the street, without looking, directly into the path of a BMW SUV. 

Rasheed was hit, shattered the BMW’s windshield and flew over the vehicle.  The defendant driver reported she was going 33 mph in a school zone and kept driving 130 yards after impact before turning and stopping.  Defendant thought a rock had shattered her windshield. 

As a result of the incident, Rasheed suffered the following injuries:

  • he had to have a small portion of his brain removed;
  • he is hemiparetic and his left arm and left leg will forever be paralyzed;
  • he is permanently bedridden and in diapers;
  • he has suffered the loss of left visual field in both eyes;
  • he had his skull fused to cervical vertebrae 1-3;
  • he has had surgical reduction and fixation of his left tibia and fibula, which resulted in his left leg being two inches shorter than his right leg;
  • he has suffered a tracheostomy for breathing and a stomach tube for nutrition;
  • he has a broken jaw, fractured teeth, fractured pelvis and a fracture to the head of the femur.
For More Information....

Brain Injury Cases:

  • Retired LAPD Motorcycle Officer Awarded $15.7 Million in Injury Case... Read More

  • British Woman Awarded $18 Million in Crosswalk Accident ... Read More

  • Economist's Testimony Assists Jury in Award for 9-year-old boy ... Read More
Medical Malpractice/Brain Injury Cases:
  • Business Law Firm Secures Verdict in Medical Malpractice Case ... Read More

  • Economist Quantifies Damages in Medical Malpractice ... Read More
Related Services:

Order Services Now:
  • Wage Loss, Personal Injury Valuation Form... Order Now

  • Life Activity Calendar, Personal Injury Checklist... Order Now

  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life, Personal Injury Valuation... Order Now

  • Expert Witness Designation Form... Order Now

Expert Testimony: First, Mr. Johnson was asked to calculate Rasheed’s loss of future earning capacity. Since Rasheed was only 12 years old at the time of accident, he had no earning history. Consequently, Mr. Johnson looked to his mother’s level of educational attainment to establish a range of potential earning capacity for Rasheed. Plaintiff’s mother was a part-time worker and a full-time student working on her degree to become an elementary school teacher. The data would come from the latest Educational Attainment tables provided by the U.S. Census Bureau. Mr. Johnson was able to calculate three earning capacity scenarios based on educational attainment of a) a high school graduate; b) a person with 1-3 years of college; and c) an average college graduate. Mr. Johnson also included a national average fringe benefits package for each scenario. These scenarios yielded a present value range of lost earning capacity of $1.8 million to $2.7 million.

Second, Mr. Johnson was asked to calculate Rasheed’s future medical expenses. Mr. Johnson reviewed the life care planner’s future medical plan. The plan consisted of four different levels of care. Rasheed’s injuries will make him dependent on 24 hour a day care for the rest of his life. Mr. Johnson presented the four future medical expense scenarios which had a present value range from $7.3 million to $15.3 million.

Results: Defendant Tran’s carrier Amica Mutual Insurance never made any substantive response to the demand. It did not offer the $50,000 policy.

After a 15-day jury trial, the jury deliberated for two days. On July 18, 2008, the jury returned a verdict of $9.3 million for the plaintiff. The verdict consisted of $948,411 in past medical expenses, $1,875,000 in future lost earnings and $6,500,000 in future medical expenses. Plaintiff was awarded nothing for pain and suffering. The verdict, decided by a diverse jury of five Caucasians, five Asians and two Latinos, held that defendant Kim Tran was 35% responsible for causing Rasheed’s injuries.

Plaintiff attorneys then moved for a new trial on the issue of damages only.

On August 11, 2008, the court exercised its independent judgment and assessed past and future non-economic damages in favor of the plaintiff in the amount of $20 million, which after the comparative fault and costs brought the final judgment to $10.1 million.

Attorney’s Comments: Plaintiff’s attorney Richard Alexander had this to say about Mr. Johnson’s testimony: “In this tough liability case, solid, irrefutable damage testimony was required. That is why I selected Robert Johnson as our economist.”