Nancy Rogers v. Richard Smollar and SCI Shared Services, Inc. d/b/a Daniel's Funeral Home
Commercial vehicle crash
Defendant was found negligent; however, Jury awarded Zero damages.
This case involved a commercial vehicle collision involving WWHGD's clients, Service Corporation International (“SCI”) and one of its employees. SCI's employee rear-ended the Plaintiff on August 30, 2018, while driving a company vehicle. At the time the Plaintiff did not claim any specific injuries, and no emergency vehicles were called. The Plaintiff did consult with a chiropractor for treatment for neck, back and hip pain. Around six (6) months later, she was involved in another accident where her car rolled over, EMTs were called, and she was taken to a hospital for evaluation. She never disclosed the second accident to any of her medical providers, claiming that she was not injured. Nonetheless, the Plaintiff thereafter underwent a battery of medical treatments and asserted that she had suffered a herniated disk and also needed a neck fusion as a result of the August 2018 accident. The Plaintiff also maintained that the initial August 2018 accident exacerbated her ongoing Parkinson’s Disease. At trial, WWHGD attorneys pointed out that the Plaintiff was treated prior to the August 2018 accident for the injuries of which she ultimately complained - neck, back, and hip pain. Additionally, our attorneys were able to show the jury that the Plaintiff’s progress improved from the date of the original accident up to the date of the second accident. Through Plaintiff’s medical records we were able to demonstrate that her condition deteriorated after the second accident. WWHGD's expert witness testified that (1) the Plaintiff did not have a herniated disc, and (2) through use of demonstrative exhibits that the condition of her spine was no different after the first wreck than before.
At closing, Plaintiff’s counsel asked for $800,000.00. The jury deliberated for two and a half hours. While the jury found that WWHGD’s clients were negligent with respect to the crash, they awarded the Plaintiff zero damages.
Plaintiff thereafter filed a Motion for New Trial on the grounds that the verdict was inconsistent. The Court rejected that argument and denied the motion.