Party Goer v. Host
Plaintiff, a 340 lb., 30-year-old woman, was invited with her boyfriend, two children and parents to our “60 something” client’s annual Easter Egg Hunt and family and friends gathering. Plaintiff’s mother believed that our client’s sister spoke rudely to Plaintiff’s young son. Plaintiff’s mother used graphic language to describe our client’s sister. Our client, acting on a report of the incident, then asked Plaintiff’s party to leave the party.
In the process, Plaintiff made a comment about our client’s use of alcohol. Depending on which story is believed, our client either approached Plaintiff or Plaintiff approached our client. Wine wound up on Plaintiff, either because our client threw it on her, as Plaintiff alleges, or because Plaintiff attempted to punch, and then missed our, striking our client’s 15-year-old grandson. As Plaintiff swung, our client claimed that she threw up her hands as a defensive motion and, in doing so, wine went flying from the glass she was holding.
Plaintiff claimed that she slipped on the wine that landed on the patio, lost her balance, and fell, fracturing her ankle. An open reduction, internal fixation was required for the fracture. Traumatic arthritis resulted.
Plaintiff’s condition and treatment was complicated by her great weight. Both Plaintiff’s and our client’s orthopedic surgeons agreed that Plaintiff would require an ankle fusion in the future, although they differed regarding the extent of impairment that would result.
Plaintiff made a C.C.P §998 Offer (a statutory offer) for $300,000.00, then reduced it to $275,000.00 shortly before trial. Defendant made a C.C.P. §998 Offer of $75,000.00, with an indication that it could be increased should Plaintiff reduce her demand.
Plaintiff’s counsel requested a verdict of $2.1 million from the jury.
Verdict: $109,000.00. A satisfying result involving a so-called Southern California “Super Lawyer.”