Defense Verdict in Four-Week Personal Injury Trial

On November 18, 2016, Jillian Hinman and William O’Brien obtained a complete defense verdict, unanimous from the 12-person jury, after a four-week trial. Ms. Hinman and Mr. O’Brien represented a driver, his auto dealer employer, and the dealer’s president.  The case involved two plaintiffs who were passengers in the vehicle being driven by the defendant as part of a test drive. The driver lost control and hit a concrete block head-on at 35-40 mph. Defendants admitted liability, but contested injuries to the plaintiffs.

The first plaintiff claimed traumatic brain injury, causing total blindness inside of three feet , but 20/20 vision outside of three feet; foreign accent syndrome; vestibular issues; balance issues leading to falls; and traumatic fibromyalgia and spondyloarthropathy. The second plaintiff claimed chronic pain from chest and shoulder injuries that required two surgeries. Both plaintiffs claimed psychological issues, including PTSD, and permanent injury that prevented them from working.  Neither plaintiff entered any medical bills into evidence. The first plaintiff asked the jury for $9 million and the second plaintiff asked for $5 million. The jury found that defendants did not proximately cause plaintiffs’ alleged injuries.

Ms. Hinman is an associate at Forsberg & Umlauf, P.S. Mr. O’Brien is formerly with The Law Office of William J. O’Brien, both of Seattle, Washington. The case was tried in King County Superior Court, in Seattle.