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Accident Lawsuit Against Sam’s Club Leads to Small Verdict

The Maryland Daily Record reports that a federal court awarded less than $10,000 to a Montgomery County woman claiming permanent injuries to her arm as the result of negligence at a Gaithersburg Sam’s Club.

Bizarrely, the plaintiff got rid of the outdoor fireplace just before trial that she still bought that she claimed was mishandled by a Sam’s Club employee. How do you get rid of that just before trial? It could have been innocent enough, but still buying it and then getting rid of it before trial had to seem odd to jurors.

Moreover, this case was mostly about reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome, which can be caused by trauma but can also be caused by a thousand other things as well. So, the jury obviously did not buy that the plaintiff had reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome or they did not buy that it was caused by the accident. Incredibly the demand was $1.2 million, which I have to think represented the thinking of the victim, not her accident lawyer. The accident lawyer already has a difficult case, coupled with the fact that it was in front of a federal jury which tends to be conservative on damages in all but serious accident cases.

Certainly, the defendant’s accident lawyer did his job in defending the case. “She asked for a lot of money and she got almost none,” the lawyer said, rubbing the plaintiff’s nose in it. He then said that the small verdict is “better than a defense verdict because it takes out all of their appealable issues.”

I don’t think this is actually true. If a legal ruling is wrong in an accident case against the plaintiff, it is still wrong and subject to appeal.