Successful Motion for Judgment During Trial which Took Place Remotely for National Fortune 500 Auto Retailer Client

Haight Partner John Wilkerson successfully prevailed on a motion for judgment during a court trial pursuant to CCP §631.8 in a case he was defending for a Fortune 500 auto retailer in the Riverside County Superior Court before the Honorable Jackson Lucky IV. The trial was held remotely through Webex. It was our client’s first remote trial.

Plaintiff alleged that he was injured and needed neck surgery due to a slip and fall on a piece of trash in a parking lot adjacent to our client’s business in Moreno Valley. Plaintiff’s incurred medical bills were $20,000.00. His alleged future medical bills were $70,000.00. He was prepared to offer evidence of $2 Million in future lost earnings.

At the close of Plaintiff’s case in chief, the court granted our motion for judgment on the grounds that Plaintiff proffered no evidence to show that our client had actual or constructive notice of the trash pursuant to Ortega v. Kmart. Plaintiff’s last pre-trial demand was $300,000.00 and Plaintiff obviously failed to obtain a more favorable result than our statutory offer to compromise in the amount of $15,000.00.

As for the trial being remote, referencing and introducing evidence was simple, and it helped that the trial judge is on the forefront of introducing this technology to remotely try cases. It’s not the same as being in person, but it worked with the help a good web cam and noise-canceling speaker/microphone. Furthermore, the court streams its trials so the public can view. This allowed our client representatives to watch from Tennessee.

March 10, 2021