Steve O’Hara Wins Fifth Jury Trial in Six Months

On June 4, 2013, Steve O’Hara won his fifth jury verdict in five cases he tried to verdict in the last six months. This case involved a very unusual issue for a jury trial – whether the plaintiff and the defendant’s liability insurance adjuster reached an oral settlement agreement. The plaintiff had suffered horrific injuries (hospital bill alone was over $700,000) while riding a motorcycle in an intersectional collision with the defendant’s sport utility vehicle, but verbally agreed to accept the defendant’s $25,000 limit of bodily injury liability coverage in settlement of his claim against the defendant. Then the plaintiff changed his mind, denied that there had been an oral settlement agreement, and sued the defendant for his bodily injury damages. The issues were bifurcated for trial so that the question of whether there was a settlement was tried first, with a trial date for the liability and damages issues to be set if the first jury returned a verdict for the plaintiff. But the jury found that there had been a settlement agreement, and returned a verdict for our client, the defendant.

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