Heimanson & Wolf, LLP
19

$3.8 Million Verdict

Bakersfield Jury Slams Jack In The Box With $3.8 Million Verdict

Our client stopped at Jack in the Box in Lebec, California during a trip to Northern California. She was standing near the soda machine when a Jack in the Box cashier began violently shaking the machine in order to try to dislodge some ice. The shaking caused a metal panel to fly from the machine and land on her bare foot, at the time she was wearing sandals.

As a result, our client suffered lacerations and bruises, which then developed into Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (“CRPS”), a rare condition that causes extreme pain and lack of mobility. The condition is also known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (“RSD”). As a result of the pain, our client endured numerous sympathetic blocks, which are injections near the spinal cord. She ultimately had a trial implant of a spine stimulator, a device that sends an electrical current to attempt to disrupt the pain signals. Our client obtained relief from the device, and the doctor implanted a permanent spinal cord stimulator.

Jack In The Box refused to accept responsibility for the injury even though its own employees admitted that the cashier acted unreasonably and against company policy in violently shaking the ice machine.

In addition, Jack hired a doctor to examine our client and say that she was not hurt and that the pain was “in her head.” The physician it chose as its company representative on the medical issues had an extensive and sordid history of discipline with the California Medical Board. Yet, Jack still attempted to call him as its chief medical witness at trial, and sought to exclude his history from evidence. The court denied the motion to exclude the doctor’s history of discipline, and only then did Jack decide not to call him as a witness.

With Conal Doyle, we represented our client in a jury trial in Bakersfield. The jury verdict was $3.8 Million. The jury awarded more than $3 million for “pain and suffering” damages, one of the largest verdicts of its kind in Kern County, California, history.