Las Vegas personal Injury lawyer, Donald Kudler represented a client in a case that went to Trial in September, 2012 in front of Judge Jerry Weiss. This case arose out of an incident that happened in a local hotel/casino when a ceiling tile fell 30′ and struck the client in the head and shoulder. The ceiling tile had become soaked with water as the result of a leak in the Defendant Restaurant’s plumbing adding to the weight that struck the client. As a result of the incident, the client had injuries to his neck, shoulder, jaw, and teeth. He also has had continuous headaches since the accident and has had difficulty with carrying on normal speaking activities.
There were several defendants at the time the case was initially filed in the Eighth Judicial District Court. All but one were dismissed by Stipulation of the Parties: the remaining Defendant admitting fault for the ceiling tile falling as part of that Stipulation. The only remaining issue for Trial was what, if any, damages were caused by the incident. Just prior to Trial, the Parties agreed that certain medical bills were causally related to the injury.
In addition to the medical damages, the client also claimed lost income, loss of his home due to the lost income, and pain and suffering as a result of the injuries sustained when the tile hit him in the head and shoulder.
5 Day Trial
The trial lasted 5 days with both sides presenting their evidence. At Trial, the Plaintiff (our client) presented a Neurologist to testify regarding his head injuries as a result of the accident. We also called a real estate professional to discuss the client’s loss of equity in his home. We also read in six (6) Depositions during Trial: four of the client’s treating physicians and two in regards to his wage loss. We called in the client’s lifelong friend to testify regarding the pain and suffering and personality changes the client suffered as a result of the accident. Our last witness was the Plaintiff himself to talk about the accident, his injuries and the effect of those injuries on his life.
The Defendant called in two expert witnesses it had retained for the Trial. Mark Rosen, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon testified that, based on his review of medical records, the Plaintiff had suffered a minor injury to his neck. Psychologist, Louis Mortillaro, performed a psychological examination of the client at the Defendant’s request. Dr. Mortillaro’s opinion was that the client did not suffer a closed head injury as a result of the accident. On cross examination he honestly testified that the client was honest about his injuries and their effect on his life and that this accident caused the client problems. Dr. Mortillaro testified that the client had a history of personal issues but that this accident “broke the camel’s back” leading to issues which would not have existed if the client had not had this injury.
The Defendant contested this case heavily arguing that the Jury should find in its favor and award the Plaintiff nothing. We argued that this accident caused real physical, mental, and emotional problems and that the Defendant should pay for those problems. Closing arguments began at 5:00 p.m. on the Friday before a three day weekend. The Jury was given the case to consider at 7:00 p.m. and came back with a Verdict in favor of the Plaintiff at 10:30 p.m. It is our understanding that the deliberations were quite contentious and that at least one Juror held out attempting to give the Plaintiff a larger award.
Las Vegas Personal Injury Lawyer, Donald Kudler, states “We did everything we could and left it in the Jury’s hands. We had two Jurors convinced that the Plaintiff was entitled to higher damages as a result of the accident. Had we had a third Juror convinced, I think our award would have been much more substantial. “