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The Pennsylvania Superior Court issued an important UIM decision on September 23, 2009, in Pusl v. Means, et al. Pusl involved the Plaintiff appealing a trial court judgment in her favor, with the Superior Court affirming the trial court judgment, which judgment had resulted in the Plaintiff’s jury trial verdict being molded to account for a credit/offset against the verdict, by virtue of the Plaintiff having recovered UIM benefits prior to the verdict being rendered by the trial jury.
Gunn Fight at the Koken Corral
Several months ago, the Pennsylvania Superior Court issued a Decision, in Gunn v. Hartford, 971 A.2d 505 (Pa. Super. 2009) of critical importance to the approach to and resolution of first party claims for uninsured and underinsured motorist’s benefits.
Superior Court Allows Plaintiff to Withdraw PRCP 1311.1 Stipulation, Limiting Recoverable Damages to $25,000, Removing Limitation on Jury’s Consideration of Plaintiff’s Damages
In a case of first impression, the Pennsylvania Superior Court recently ruled, on May 1, 2009, in Dolan v. Fissell, No. 239 EDA 2008, that the Plaintiff, who was seeking personal injury damages from a motor vehicle accident, was permitted to withdraw her PRCP 1311.1 Stipulation, allowing a Plaintiff to admit medical records and reports into evidence at trial without the necessity of presenting expert medical witness testimony to offer foundation opinion concerning causation, in exchange for the Plaintiff’s recoverable damages being limited to a maximum award of $25,000.
Trial Case Note: Falling from Grace
With over $200,000 in special damages for related medical bills and “lost” wages, and a specious claim that the Plaintiff lost his job because of his slip and fall injuries, an element of damages vigorously contested through every phase of the trial, this trial, and its ultimate defense verdict, hinged on several key factors. This trial again illustrates the necessity of remaining true throughout any trial to a few critical concepts to enable the jury to trust the “more likely than not” truths initially raised in your Opening Statement to the jury.