KOH V. SIERRA VALLEY MINI MART
Insurance Fraud/Premises Liability/Negligence/Intentional Torts. Due to the confusion created by prepaying cash for gas at a busy mini mart, one patron came away with $20 worth of the plaintiff’s gas while, much to his dismay, the plaintiff only got $4. By the time the plaintiff figured this out, the other patron had left, so he went into the mini mart to demand a refund or more gas. The store procedure does not allow cash refunds and all attempts by the clerk to provide the owner’s contact information, coupled with the language barrier, escalated the blood pressure of the plaintiff to the point where he grabbed the cash register and attempted to throw it onto the ground. The clerk came around the counter, whereupon the plaintiff tried to punch him. The clerk was a more accomplished pugilist than the plaintiff. He caught Mr. Koh with a right hook which knocked him into the potato chip rack and onto the ground. From there on, the plaintiff feigned unconsciousness while his wife went berserk. The police and ambulance were called. The paramedics immediately determined that there was nothing visibly wrong with the plaintiff and specifically noted their belief that Mr. Koh was faking being unconscious. The usual nonsensical medical care and astronomical settlement demands followed. Plaintiff’s counsel was so strange that the trial judge actually asked him in open court if he really was a lawyer because his given Bar number did not match up with the State Bar records. Opposing counsel apparently informally changed his name, put it on all pleadings and failed to notify the State Bar. After being thwarted on numerous attempts to get a procedural dismissal by the trial court’s sympathy for plaintiff and his bumbling attorney, we were successful in excluding expert medical testimony based on plaintiff’s failure to respond to our demand for exchange of expert witness information. Our directed verdict was granted and the jury was dismissed.