News Brief

Bashor and Lai Obtain Victory in Strongly Litigated Premises Liability Case with Unanimous Defense Verdict at Trial

June 4, 2018

Karen Bashor (Of Counsel-Las Vegas) and I-Che Lai (Associate-Las Vegas) obtained a defense verdict for a large multinational consumer electronics retailer in a premises liability case before the U.S. District Court, District of Nevada. The plaintiff was struck by a heavy television that fell off a company cart, allegedly causing permanent injuries, and underwent knee surgery with surgical recommendations for her back. Plaintiff’s Complaint sought relief in excess of $7 million. This included economic loss claims of more than $100,000 in annual income, plus commissions. Before the trial, with knowledge of plaintiff’s prior motor vehicle accidents and chronic illnesses, Karen and I-Che successfully moved to strike the plaintiff’s only retained medical expert, eliminate her economic loss claims, eliminate her emotional distress claim and preclude claims for future medical expenses.

Karen’s opening and closing arguments emphasized the plaintiff’s burden, plaintiff’s lack of credibility given her sworn statements under oath contrary to the surveillance video, and lack of other credible evidence. On liability, Karen focused on the totality of the circumstances, the quick manner in which the accident occurred, and how company employees didn’t do anything wrong, but still did what was right under the circumstances. Karen highlighted plaintiff’s admission that “accidents happen” on the day of the accident and juxtaposed it with plaintiff’s statement that she had “not yet” obtained an attorney less than 48 hours later.

Karen also attacked plaintiff’s arguments that inappropriately focused on hindsight and a heightened standard of care. I-Che examined the company employees to give the jury a complete picture of what transpired. I-Che also cross-examined plaintiff’s husband and perfectly set up the admission of impeachment evidence in the nature of surveillance video of the plaintiff, exercising and dancing without any apparent physical limitations or pain. Karen successfully undermined the plaintiff’s only remaining non-retained expert with one question, having him admit that despite his observations of pain and limitations, he had no causation opinion regarding the injuries at issue. The jury deliberated less than two hours and reached a unanimous defense verdict. Angela Clark (Senior Paralegal-Las Vegas) provided invaluable assistance in preparing the case since inception and providing support throughout the trial.

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