Monday, May 24, 2010

A "Transient Rub of Life"

In a recent decision, the Monroe County Court of Common Pleas denied a Plaintiff's motion for a new trial in a case where the jury entered a zero verdict in a clear liability case even thought the defense medical expert agreed that the plaintiff had sustained some form of injury.

In the case of Abuhadba v. Schena, PICS Case No. 10-1948 (C.P. Monroe March 12, 2010 Zulick, J.), Judge Zulick noted that the plaintiff, who claimed chronic injuries to her head, neck and back as the result of a motor vehicle accident, provided inconsistent testimony about her injuries during her time on the witness stand at trial.

Judge Zulick noted that the courts of Pennsylvania courts have addressed the issue of defense experts conceding injuries in admitted liability cases and found that some injuries should be considered a "transient rub of life" for which the jury can award minimal damages or, in the alternative, for which the jury can find that defendent's negligence caused an injury but that the injury was not compensable.

Judge Zulick held that the extent of Abuhabda's injuries was a question of credibility and the jury's verdict was clearly not against the weight of the evidence. Thus, the zero verdict was upheld and the plaintiff's motion for a new trial was denied.

A copy of this case can be secured from the Pennsylvania Law Weekly's Instant Case Service for a small fee by calling 1800-276-7427 and giving the above PICS Case Number.

Source: Pennsylvania Law Weekly Case Digests.

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