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William M. Slaughter and Kevin J. Heimberg Obtain Defense Verdict in Alleged Construction Site Accident

After an 8-day jury trial, Plaintiffs suffered immediate defeat after only 25-minutes of deliberation. Plaintiffs were German citizens on a family vacation to Disneyland, when a strong gust of wind tore the back cover off a pick-up truck, causing the cover to hurdle towards and strike a mother and her young toddler in a stroller. The mother and toddler survived with minimal abrasions and contusions. The family sought medical treatment in the U.S., and then travelled back to Germany for further treatment.

The family eventually filed suit against multiple defendants, and alleged that this was not a vehicular accident, but a construction site accident. The incident occurred in an alleyway between two hotels nearby Disneyland. One of the hotels was undergoing internal renovations at the time. As such, the family sued the owner and driver of the truck involved, as well as the hotel being renovated, the general contractor for the renovations, the subcontractor who purportedly hired the individual who owned the truck involved, and the project manager for the renovations. Slaughter, Reagan & Cole represented the project manager and his corporate entity.

During the course of litigation, the hotel and truck owner settled out of the case. The case proceeded to trial against only the purported employer of the truck owner, and the project manager. At trial, Plaintiffs did not seek recovery of medical costs of any kind. Rather, the Plaintiff mother sought pain and suffering for ongoing migraine headaches and loss of earning capacity, while the Plaintiff father and daughter sought pain and suffering. In total, Plaintiffs asked the jury to award over $3,500,000.00 in total damages.

The jury had heard testimony from eight lay-witnesses and five expert-witnesses. Plaintiffs argued that the Defendants failed to plan properly and failed to create appropriate safety measures. The Defense argued not only that proper planning occurred, but that the type of injury sustained by the Plaintiffs was not due to any conduct or action by the Defendants present at trial. After only a brief deliberation, the jury returned with a unanimous Defense verdict, finding zero liability for all Defendants.