Nick RowleySusie InjijianGiorgio PanagosJordan StrovoskyTanya Gomerman

How I Got My Verdict

Susie Injijian & Giorgio Panagos - Maximizing Recovery by Never Losing Sight of the Jury

Gary Mountain & Susan Mountain v. DP Electric, et al. and David Perez & Donna Perez v.

David Perez, an experienced electrician, suffered severe burns on a service call when the switchgear he was operating exploded in his face. Gary Mountain, an employee of the business Perez was servicing, was also burned. Mountain sued Perez for causing the arc flash explosion. Perez then sued the landlord, property manager, and tenant for negligently installing and maintaining the switchgear.

The landlord and property manager settled with plaintiff Mountain and joined forces against Perez. Following a nine-week Zoom trial and four hours of deliberations, the jury returned a unanimous jury verdict for Perez in this no-offer case. The jury found that the sole cause of the explosion was the negligent maintenance by the property owner and managers and awarded $25,500,000 in non-economic damages to the Perezes, including $5,000,000 in damages for loss of consortium.

Teaching Points:

As we learned during this Zoom trial, where every juror’s live portrait was always right in our field of vision, the subtlest reactions of our jurors were critical real-time feedback that could and did shape our strategy through the trial. We will talk about:

  1. How to read your jury in an in-person trial to the same effect, so that your jury is your ultimate focus group.
  2. How to use the jury pool and the final 12 selected to dictate your trial themes, tone and presentation styles.
  3. How to use subtle juror feedback effectively to modify liability theories as trial progresses, and even decide whether to let any defendants out of the case.
  4. Why the particular jurors you focus on most have to be different in voir dire, opening statement, and closing argument.
  5. How to tailor your ask to the particular demands of your jury, to get your deserving clients a spectacular result.

Jordan Strokovsky - $26M Medical Malpractice Verdict for Leg Amputation

In this case, the plaintiff was a young man who had his leg amputated at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, because his doctors failed to timely diagnose and treat his ruptured popliteal artery. Shortly before trial, the hospital offered to settle the case for $3M and essentially threatened to tie the case up on appeal in the event the case went to verdict.The hospital admitted liability on the eve of trial for strategic purposes as an attempt to minimize the amount awarded for damages.The ultimate recovery for this case was $30.3M, and the hospital would end up announcing systemic changes as a result of this verdict which will hopefully benefit malpractice victims.

Teaching Points:

1. Reframing a case when the defense admits liability on the eve of trial;

2. Obtaining an eight-figure non-economic damages award when you can’t ask for a specific number in Pennsylvania courts;

3. Taking away all credibility from defendant’s main expert within the first minute of cross examination;

4. Handling defense counsel’s made up, and drastically reduced, life care plan in rebuttal argument.

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