Attorney Kent Gummert, a THEMIS member, of Lederer Weston Craig PLC, successfully defended a bodily injury lawsuit brought by a 57 year old pharmacist who was involved in a broadside collision at an intersection with a large commercial vehicle. Based upon a report by an independent physician (not hired by either party) finding that the plaintiff was permanently and totally disabled due to headaches, neck and low back pain, a lost wage claim was pursued for the injured pharmacist up to age 80. Due to the high earning history for the plaintiff, this lost wage claim totaled over $2,500,000. The last demand before trial was $1,800,000. The plaintiff requested, in closing arguments, over $3,600,000. The insurance carrier for the commercial vehicle confessed judgment for $700,000 prior to trial.
During the trial, Mr. Gummert was able to present evidence which cast doubt on the independent physician’s opinions. Defense counsel suggested a verdict of $40,000 to $70,000 would be appropriate based upon the evidence. On Friday, April 6, 2018, after an entire day of deliberations, the jury returned a verdict for $52,800 in lost wages; $24,192 in past pain and suffering; and $8,064 in past loss of use of body. No damages were awarded for future lost wages, future pain and suffering or future impairment. The case was tried in the Iowa District Court for Polk County (Des Moines).