Premises Liability/Negligence. We had a co-defendant driving a rather large U-Haul truck through our client’s service station when he realized that his tank was on the opposite side of where he pulled up. In his haste to make a u-turn, the driver struck the corner of the building, knocking a 1,500-lb. fascia/signage from its support. It came crashing down on the plaintiff, brushing him on the shoulder, knocking him to the ground and rendering him temporarily unconscious. Once again, a simple claim becomes a nightmare because of the medi-legal work-up. The brain damage/closed-head injury and psychological trauma claims escalated to a $2.5 million demand and an open policy. Evidentiary hearings for the admission or exclusion of controversial medical technology ensued. The trial judge was rather bizarre himself and pretty much let the plaintiffs get away with anything they wanted. The $300,000 verdict was considered a victory in light of the plaintiffs’ non-negotiable multimillion dollar demand. While the plaintiff claimed that he was a physical and mental wreck, subrosa films showed him happily handicapping horses at Hollywood Park, drinking beer, smoking cigarettes and doing everything else that he was doing in his non-productive life prior to the unfortunate accident.

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