Personal Injury/Insurance Fraud – Bus v. Pedestrian. Liability should have been clearly adverse because the bus operator did indeed shut the door on the plaintiff’s foot as she was trying to get on. The plaintiff was dragged for several feet before the bus operator realized her mistake. Most of the matters we handle for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority are clear-cut fraud cases. While this one did not fit the traditional mode, the level of medical care orchestrated by plaintiff’s attorney was extraordinary enough that we got the case. The plaintiff attorney managed to amass over $20,000 in care-on-lien, including a series of sacral and epidural joint injections, and used an orthopaedic surgeon who insisted that surgery was going to be necessary in the near future. Unfortunately for the plaintiff, her attorney got so wrapped up in his righteous perception of the reasonableness and necessity of the medical care that he forgot to put on his liability case. We strategically did not bring a motion for nonsuit because plaintiff would be left with the option to reopen. We did bring a motion for directed verdict, which the irascible trial judge deferred ruling on it until after the jury had an opportunity to make its decision. The jury came back within 25 minutes with a 12-0 defense verdict. The pretrial offer was $20,000 and the demand was $200,000.

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