Peter Reed v. Paramount Construction Services, LLC

    04.29.2016

    Alice Chen Smith obtained a favorable verdict on behalf of Paramount Construction Services, LLC and Michael Lewis Quinn after a five-day jury trial against the Ghozland Law Firm, which led to a dismissal of the entire action for a waiver of costs. On January 22, 2014, Plaintiff, Peter Reed, a bartender in his 30s, was riding his bicycle on westbound Santa Monica Boulevard, approaching the intersection with Kings Road, in West Hollywood, when a truck operated by Michael Quinn made a left turn in front of him. As a result, Plaintiff struck the right, rear of the truck bed and fell onto the roadway. Plaintiff sustained a fracture of his left arm's humerus.

    Plaintiff sued Michael Lewis Quinn and his employer, Paramount Construction Services, LLC, the owner of the truck. Plaintiff alleged that Quinn was negligent in the operation of the truck and that Paramount Construction Services, LLC was vicariously liable for Quinn's actions. Defense counsel argued that since Quinn's truck was 83 percent through the turn when Plaintiff entered the intersection, pursuant to California Vehicle Code 21801(b), Plaintiff should have yielded to the vehicle.

    Plaintiff ultimately underwent surgery to repair the fracture with a plate and screws. Plaintiff later underwent a second surgery to remove the plate and screws. Plaintiff claimed that he would require a third surgery on his arm. He also claimed that he suffered a loss of earnings as a result of his injury and treatment and that he will also suffer a future loss of earning capacity.

    Defense counsel noted that Plaintiff 's initial surgery was paid by Medi-Cal and that Plaintiff waived the costs of that surgery prior to trial. Defense counsel also noted that the second surgery was performed on a medical lien with Plaintiff 's treating orthopedic surgeon, who also had an interest in the surgery center where the procedure was performed. Defense expert, Dr. Ronald S. Kvitne, treating physician for the L.A. Kings, testified that although the need for the two surgeries was reasonable, the cost of the second surgery and therapy was unreasonable. Defense counsel further argued that Plaintiff would not need a third surgery.

    At closing argument, plaintiff asked for $112,103.15 in past medical expenses, $20,000 in past lost wages, $46,000 in future medical expenses, $200,000 in past pain and suffering, and $200,000 in future pain and suffering, for a total of over $578,103.15. The jury agreed with Paramount Construction, LLC's arguments and rendered a verdict after 2.5 hours of deliberation. The jury awarded plaintiff $111,000 but apportioned 50 percent liability to each defendant Michael Lewis Quinn and Plaintiff, Peter Reed. Thus, after apportionment, Plaintiff's recovery was $55,500. The jury was polled 12-0 as to comparative fault and causation. After trial, Plaintiff's counsel moved for a new trial or, in the alternative, for additur. Counsel also moved for attorney fees for C.C.P. 2033. The parties agreed to a mutual waiver of costs.

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