Juries granted large settlements — in some cases up into the billions of dollars — in personal injury cases last year. However, large settlements are not automatic, as a case argued by Ted Schaer and colleagues demonstrated.
Last year, a California jury ordered Monsanto to pay $2 billion to a couple who developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma after years of using Roundup products. A Texas jury awarded $80 million to a trucker injured when he fell asleep and crashed his truck into another rig. The trucker, Lauro Lozano, had alleged his boss made him alter the logbook so that it appeared he had rested between loads, when, in fact, he had taken two loads without a rest.
In Florida, a jury awarded a former accountant $41 million when he was rendered a quadriplegic in an accident at a member-only golf community. The accountant, James Schnurr, was riding his bike when he struck an upright post. In another case, a jury awarded $103 million to the families of six people who died and to 10 people injured in the collapse of a pedestrian bridge at Florida International University.
Yet, in Pennsylvania, a case against a facilities management company was dismissed before going to trial. The case alleged that the facilities management company was negligent in managing an elevator that had malfunctioned. Attorney Ted Schaer and colleagues successfully argued that the person who brought the charge had provided no expert evidence that the facilities management company had done anything wrong. Further, Ted Schaer and colleagues argued that a non-expert juror could not assume that an elevator could only malfunction if there was negligence. The judge agreed.
Ted Schaer, esquire, with Zarwin Baum DeVito Kaplan Schaer Toddy P.C, served as one of the primary attorneys on the facilities management case. Ted Schaer, of Philadelphia, has been with Zarwin Baum since 1987 and is currently a partner and co-chairman of the firm’s property and casualty defense department. Ted Schaer has defended companies and insurers, spanning many industries.. Ted Schaer also specializes in cases involving cyber liability, privacy, and breaches, and is a frequent speaker on these topics. For the past five years, Ted Schaer has served as co-dean of the Claims and Litigation Management (CLM) School of Cyber.